DA Most Progressive Party in the World – the Importance of Gender and Race in Political Leadership

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*Disclaimer: This article does not in any way represent the political affiliations of Safro, it is merely a collection of interesting and exciting facts that together seek to praise South Africa, through one of its political parties, for achieving another world first.

THE OBAMA OF SOWETO – this is the American-centric comparison that would dog Mmusi Maimane in his recent political career, from his campaign for premiership in the Gauteng to his eventual election as the new leader of the Democratic Alliance on the 10th of May 2015. While the charismatic Maimane has certainly not been discrete in taking leaves from Obama’s campaign manual, the likenesses between the  two men have now been further cemented in that both are the first black leaders to be elected to head political parties’ whose leadership historically has been about as colourful as a pitcher of milk. However, the South African politician does best his American counterpart in terms of novelty by succeeding someone not only of a different race, but also of a different gender.

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A Fancy Phone for a South African Life – The Comparative Cost of Contract Killers across the World.

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Two fancy new cellphones– the value of a young South African woman’s life, at least according to the hitman that reportedly requested only R30 000 to take the life of Jade Panayiotou. Police suspect Jade’s husband of masterminding the death of his own wife in a case that is eerily reminiscent of the (alleged) 2010 Dewani spousal liquidation vacation. In both cases the monetary value of person’s life would be determined by men willing to prematurely end it for a nominal fee.

The history of hitmen stretches back as far as man’s impatience with the natural lifecycle of another, and his willingness to pay for the shortening thereof. Surprisingly, however, there is hardly any data available on contract killings (besides in Australia), despite the cash-for-corpses businesses being lucrative enough to lure Woody Harrelson’s father into the trade.

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More Likely to Die from a Toaster than a Natural Disaster : 21 Years of Environmental Calamities in South Africa.

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On the 25th of April 2015, an immense earthquake measuring between 7.8 and 8.1 on the Moment Magnitude Scale (the successor of the Richter-Scale) hit the south-east Asian country of Nepal – the traditional departure point for most climbers attempting to ascend the ever imposing Mount Everest. As of the 1st of May the official death toll has been measured at over 6000, with some officials predicting that as many as 15,000 may actually have perished. An instantaneous, devastating and seemingly senseless loss of life, but far from the pinnacle of Mother Nature’s wrath.

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Mzanzi in the Movies (1916 -2015): 99 years of Features Filmed in South Africa

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24 April 2015 –  The South African release date for Avengers: Age of Ultron, another epic superhero blockbuster delivering a wantonly destructive romp through numerous international destinations, this time including downtown Johannesburg.  The latest Iron Man and company outing includes a 20 minute scene featuring (yet another) gratingly accented South African – Hollywood rarely seems able to get it right – and a shocking disregard for private property in the Joburg CBD, the owners of which are certainly kicking themselves for not staying up to date on their “collateral damage resultant from an over-exuberant altercation between hulking green beast with surprisingly elastic purple pants and 3 meter tall metal-machine-man” insurance payments. The inevitable carnage was filmed over a period of 3 weeks in Egoli, thereby adding A:AoU to the lengthy list of feature length films that were shot, at least partially, on location in South Africa.

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Cecil John Rhodes and SA’s 1%ers

Cecil John Rhodes – businessman, mining magnate, politician, colonialist and subject of transformative debate. Also, not surprisingly, one very rich South African.

In 1907, five years following a fatal heart-attack at his Muizenberg home, the British-born Rhodes’ estate would eventually be valued at an impressive £3,345,000, a figure that even today would leave a twinkle in any SARS representative’s eye . Take into account a hundred years of inflation, however, and the contemporary value of Rhodes’ fortune rapidly inflates to a statue toppling £307 million, or R5.5 billion* at the current exchange rate. Although not quite enough to secure the colonial fat cat the distinguished honour of being the country’s richest person it is enough to ensure a respectable 19th spot on the SA richest list just behind Raymond Ackerman, best known for being the only billionaire ever to have been fired by Checkers.

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