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Live blog: The #ZumaMustGo protests

BREAKING: 17h01 – CLICK FOR LIVE POSTS from Today’s historic day of protest – call it a citizen’s vote of no-confidence – which JR Online will be posting from 10:30 to 14:00. SA Jewish Report Online is at several of the protests/marches associated with South African Jewry – and we also have staffers following radio and TV news broadcasts which we will be using to continuously keep users updated. Follow the proceedings, from the Chief Rabbi and our editor in Pretoria to every inch of SA. Why not keep the page open and simply refresh. We will also be sharing updates with ChaiFM




Compiled by ANT KATZ

#ZumaMustGo – the JR LIVE BLOG

As always with live blogs, they are just that: LIVE! JEWISH REPORT ONLINE will be posting both generated images and words as well as those submitted and…

Users please note:

  • As with any live blogging, users should respect the fact that speed is often given preference over accuracy and that typographical errors can and will occur.
  • Similarly, it is important to note that – with regard to speeches – this blog is a paraphrasing of what is said, and not a verbatim account.
  • Anything that is, in fact, verbatim will be clearly denoted within quotation marks.
  • Users are welcome to post comments which will be moderated and appear below this page
  • As each new post is updated, the time will be reflected on the top of the home page of the website. If you have the page open, “refresh” it by pressing the F5 key on the top row of buttons on your computer.
  • Remember that the older posts are below – so read from bottom to top. 

Click for related reads on JR Online:

Jews marching for change

POSTED 17:01:

The numbers will never be known as small groups of South Africans, like those in this picture submitted by a user, and the thousands who participated in the “chains4change” groups – see below – will never be able to be counted.

zuma debMembers of the community are invited to continue to submit pictures (like this small group of supporters) and place their comments and views as comments below this page. It was wonderful to see the contribution that people made – as ordinary, concerned, South Africans – and how they were accepted as such.

There is a magnificent but patchy piece of cell-phone video that was submitted by a user depicting Rabbi Goldstein revving up the Pretoria crowd in a very activist fashion which was amazing – anyone who is able to provide good video of that event should please send to  

POSTED 16h13 >>>>>>>>>>>>>>

In an attempt to break up pro- and anti-Zuma protesters outside the Gupta Compound in Saxonwold in the past few minutes, the assumption is that the Police fired a metal thunderflash which landed just next to eNCA’s Iman Rapetti while she was doing to a live broadcast. The live explosion threw the broadcaster and her interviewee off their feet in the ensuing chaos.

POSTED 15h42 >>>>>>>>>>>>>> Zuma g

The poster at left sums up the mood of South Africans today.

One group of South Africans, religious leaders, were the first to start asking to ANC to recall the President a years ago.

It was left to Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein to speak this truth to power – exactly one year ago – when interfaith groups met with four of the ANC Top-Six.

This week again, “the Chief” as he is warmly known, again called on Zuma to stand down for the sake of the country and spoke on behalf of the interfaith leadership. And today, once again, Rabbi Goldstein was at the forefront of the Pretoria March.

The Chief Rabbi has elected to join the march in Pretoria, from Church Square to the Union Buildings. “Join me, and thousands of others in marches across the country,” said the Chief Rabbi this week, but remember it is a Friday, he adds, “so make sure to leave enough time to get home well before Shabbos. Let us pray for G-d’s guidance and abundant blessing at this historic time.”

What the Chief Rabbi told the ANC in April 2016

ZumajokeAt a press conference last April, Goldstein said that he had expressed to the ANC hierarchy that President Jacob Zuma had “lost the moral legitimacy to govern this country.” Interfaith bodies representing upwards of 80 percent of South Africans had met the ANC leadership after the Nkandla decision in the Constitutional Court. Not mincing his words, Rabbi Goldstein told the ANC to ask Zuma to step down and, as he put it a year ago, “put the good of the country before anything else”.

This week Goldstein again spoke out, delivering his Pesach message “Let our people go!” and drawing the analogy of the saga of today’s South Africa to the flight of our people from Egypt 3329 years ago. “With that freedom comes a voice,” says the Chief, who will be marching in Pretoria on Friday.

POSTED 15h12 >>>>>>>>>>>>>>


​Anneke Larsen reporting that another huge group are marching on Parly – the public order police had left. The new group had a permit to march and were delayed by a group of ANCYL supporters with whom they ended up in a major brouhaha.
in and while 

Also the crowd protesting outside the Gupta compound – where a small group had been protesting this morning – has become a point of controversy as many of the protesters who had been at other sites have been converging – violence is breaking out and police are moving in resources

A contrary voice worth reading…


Let me preface everything I am about to say by saying I was born in SA. I am a Citizen of SA and a proud Jew who has every right to remain here.

The challenge in protesting effectively as White people, is not to protest.

This is not our fight.

Blumenthal Dr Ivor This is the fight of those who have a legitimate claim against this version of the ANC and the GUPTA’s. For the same reason that Helen Zille had no right to comment against Colonialism, it is not our place to protest against a corrupt and inept state. It is the responsibility of those who put the ANC in this position to remediate the problem. Every White protest publicly is a red flag to marauding rural citizens of this country who will be bussed and brought into counter any attack on Luthuli house, and to specifically target White people. Those people living in rural areas of South Africa, who are in the majority have been completely and effectively indoctrinated by Zuma and the ANC NEC over a 25 year period. Why do you think Faith is still there in the ANC NEC and why Hlaudi is still effectively pulling the strings at the SABC which is now bankrupt because of his brilliant and strategic manipulation of the SABC’s resources? The majority of South Africans who have been kept poor and without services have been trained and conditioned to see the White person as bad, as Evil and as responsible on an ongoing basis for their current state of dispossession.

The best thing we can do for our Democracy is to let it play out between those with a legitimate claim on a solution.                       

The question I ask of those Jews who are about to take to the streets and to derail the attention by the ANC on the ANC, is are you and your family prepared to take up arms? Are you prepared to die for the colour of your skin and in the process be aiding Zuma to avoid his fate? If you are not strategic about the involvement of White and Jewish citizens,  then instead of peaceful change, caused by the masses, we will end up with bloodshed on the streets focused on Whites and worse Jews because we always unfortunately draw the ire of the masses. This is what Zuma and his bosses want because it will divert attention away from them, the corrupt crooks who have brought this country to this stage. It will focus the attention of the masses of dispossessed in this country on Us. On White Jewish people. Suddenly we all become Helen Zille’s. That is the rallying cry Zuma is waiting for. If Civil Society organisations can be effective and get a large proportion of the ANC who put Jacob in to take him out of the position and to neutralise his power in the party, and if they are openly asking the DA and other structures associated with the White Minority in SA not to interfere, but to be there supporting their efforts, who are we to say otherwise?

POSTED 14h56 >>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Voices of some Jewish South Africans 

DARREN BERGMAN, DA MP and formerly a senior Johannesburg City Councillor, said that “Although Jacob Zuma has been the best weapon for the DA, we need to put the interest of the country first and the sooner we can stop President Zuma and the current slide to junk status the better it will be for all citizens of this beautiful country.” Bergman said he “will support all marches that call on the resignation of the president, provided they are peaceful…”

MIKE SINGER: The ANC cadres have to stop practicing the sheep mentality and have the courage to vote out their corrupt leader. It’s the same kind of sheep behavior we as Jews, we  observed by them, for years now, in their blind support of Palestinian terrorists, against all morals or consideration of human rights.

ALLAN WOLMAN OF JOHANNESBURG says he represents no constituency. “I fully support the call #ZumanMustFall as would any concerned citizen for all the reasons that civil society have voiced these past few days. Alas I believe that it will come to naught and notwithstanding those calls from decent and committed and honest people it will be business as usual – the ANC will close ranks and worse still will lend support for a third term for Zuma in 2019. Perhaps read Justice Malala’s column in The Times – Monay 3 April.”

MONICA SOLOMON, JOHANNESBURG: I support the #ZumaMustGo campaign because it’s time for us to reclaim South Africa.  There is no doubt it has been captured and if we don’t support this campaign now then when?  From the Nene debacle to this (and everything inbetween) – we have lost all credibility and if Zuma does not go we are doomed.  Yes I would march, and quite clearly against the President.

LARRY HIDE OF PORT ELIZABETH: I would support the campaign for #ZumaMustGo and my reasons are that we want an honest government, one that delivers to its people and puts the interest of South Africa and its citizens first. Zuma and his cronies are putting their own interests first and we need to stand united regardless of our party affiliation and work towards honest governance. I will march to express my non-support for Zuma.

POSTED 14h50 >>>>>>>>>>>

The festive atmosphere continues around the country and where clashes did exist it seems they have been quelled.

Ploitical commentators are saying that, as much as the events of the past ten days put SA at a crossroud, so the events of today have ensured that such events will never occur again and the ANC cannot ignore the voice of the people – which was well and truly stated today.

Another previous live blog…

Chai HOME1LIVE BLOG FROM THE BIG GLENHAZEL BASH The biggest community party of 2013 was the ChaiFM KosherWorld bash – check out JR Online’s LIVE BLOG from the event We live-blogged from this incredible community party so that those who can’t be there live, from around the town, country or world could share it. 

POSTED 14h34 >>>>>>>>>>>




POSTED 14h14 >>>>>>>>>>>

Achievers 14 Live BlogHOME

Another previous LIVE BLOG to gib a kuk – This was the most successful live blog on JR Online to date.

ABSA ACHIEVERS 2014 THE LIVE BLOG–. LISTED WINNER was Steve Braudo. This live blog began on Sunday 24 Aug 2014, the sixteenth annual Absa Jewish Achiever Awards brought to you by SA Jewish Report. Almost 5000 visits were achieved with an average visit period of almost nine minutes.

People from leafy suburbs like Constantia who drank Cappuccinos and sat on yoga mats – and others from Kyalisha on cardboard boxes and eating dry bread – exchanging conversation and seeming to have shared problems with ZUMA.

Larsen says police estimate 55k atttended.


Fitch has just become the second ratings agency to downgrade SA officially placing our status as JUNK.

POSTED 13h54 >>>>>>>>>>>

BREAKING NEWS: with community protests happening acress the city Police have detained ANC supporters in central Joburg for marching without permission

BREAKING NEWS: with most events winding down, the security forces are also getting a break at most sites – Johannesburg and Cape Town still have some hotspots

: Why is their such authoritarian creep that we are protecting buildings that are not under attack – WITH GUNS! 

BREAKING NEWS: ANC Woman’s League were conspicuousby their absence on either side of the divide – but (very rough at this stage) media estimates are that as many as 750k to one mil anti-Zuma protesters have faced under 100k pro-Zuma supporters.

Political commentator Kariema Brown again speaks on maturing democracy but concerned at autocratic nature of security forces – says going back to a force and not a service. She says ppl are asking about Pravin dismissal and Zuma enrichment






POSTED 13h30 >>>>>>>>>>>
Most march programmes are taking a break for lunch so it’s time to catch up with pictures that have been submitted – thanks for all the pics and visits – AVERAGE VISIT TO THIS PAGE IS BEING READ FOR 5:46 MINS – SA average read time is over 9 mins – tell your friends and family to follow us March17


POSTED 13h20 >>>>>>>>>>>

Latest news

Latest – Kariema Brown says ANC didn’t believe that non-ANC orgs could mobilise as they have done. Zuma and his friends are quite concious as to why people are on the streets. 

Previous live blogs – gib a kuk…


South African Friends of Israel (SAFI) is a movement that promotes inter-faith dialogue between the South African Jewish community and the broader South African community.

16-March conference live blog - HOMESAFI ISRAEL ADVOCACY 2016 CONFERENCE LIVE BLOG


Follow the LIVE BLOG of the SA Friends of Israel (SAFI) taking place from 9am to 4pm on Sunday 13 March 2016. This page includes programme notes and speaker information – but the live blog will begin before 9am. As each new post is added, the time will be displayed on this home page link.

POSTED 13h10 >>>>>>>>>>>

More breaking news – Police arrest a man in clashes between ANCYL and the DA


King David School teachers

POSTED 12h55 >>>>>>>>>>> #ZumaMustFall

zuma b

Pic at left from Reeva Forman

At Luthili house a large pro-Zuma crowd has gathered – a younger group – most of the MK Vets are marching with the skop-him-out brigades.

POSTED 12h43 >>>>>>>>>>>

Zumajoke1Community Leader Mark Hyman:

When cabinet ministers now go on international investment Road shows, we shall call the trips junkets.

I support #BlackFridaySA

As a gesture of solidarity with all South Africans who believe in the great potential of our country!

South Africa’s global wealth eroded in the past four days ‘I would venture that the minister of finance can almost do whatever he likes; the problem is beyond him”

It raises the cost of borrowing, and cost of borrowing has become a growing item in our budget line items. And with higher interest rates that will come about because of the downgrade – and that’s on international as well as domestic debt – that cost of borrowing means more of our budget now will be allocated to paying interest expenses, and that interest expense is crowding out – to use the economic or text-book terminology desperately needed spending, such as the promotion of small and mid-sized enterprises, infrastructure spending and of course social welfare budget allocations. The obligation to service your debt gets in the way of all of those other much-needed expenditure items.

Pretoria goes marching – Karieme Brown, political commentator says it is good to see maturing democracy with intellectual speakers rather than toyi-toyiing and singing about machine guns.

zuma bPolitical commentator Angelo Fick says it is good to see that there is control (for the most part) where pro-Zuma and #ZumaMustFall groups. Undoing the incompetence and ‘irregularities’ of previous seven years may take more than seven years to undo.


eNCA senior reporter Aneka Larsen says she and other Cape journos discussing that CT has never seen the like of the thousands upon thousands surrounding Parly. 
It is also notable that they represent all walks of life in CT – All say they want to see change.

And there are still masses on the match to Parly.

All races, all parties, “a little bit nebulous” she says as the various social, racial and income level marchers don’t really have leadership.

The City had given permission for 8000 marchers – just watching on TV there are lots more that 8k already at Parly.

POSTED 12h22 >>>>>>>>>>>

MMusi just ended emotive speech – audience in Mary Fitzgerald Square – huge audience of all races and parties very vocal in support of him.

Selfie from Howard Sackstein more pics to come

POSTED 12h15 >>>>>>>>>>>


​Newtown in central Joburg – police firing rubber bullets to break up DA and ANCYL clash – one Youth League member injured – clash ongoing

MMusi Maimane: “I am so proud of SAs of all races and all colours and political parties, Thank you”

zuma a

Pic just in from Howard Sackstein of Chief Rabbi amid marchers

POSTED 11h49 >>>>>>>>>>>

zuma 4Pictures from users at Gautrain and Cape Town station – Cape Town march about to get on way to Parly, building surrounded by riot police, soldiers

zuma 3

Civil society

Among the many civil society activist groups getting involved in the protest on Friday, is the Organisation for Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA, of toll fee fame). Of interest is that they, too, have many Jewish members. They have even opened a special page on their website where they are listing events as they hear about them and also giving advice as to what is legal and what isn’t when massing, marching and protesting.

Johannesburg socialite and entrepreneur Dina Diamond says she supports the #ZumaMustGo campaign because, she says, “the president jeopardises the economy.”  Zuma, she says, “must not be given the privilege of holding such an office,” himself been found to be corrupt and not representative of his people.

Allan Wolman, well-known Joburg businessman, says he represents no constituency. He fully supports the call #ZumanMustFall as would any concerned citizen for all the reasons that civil society have voiced these past few days.

Monica Solomon also says she supports the #ZumaMustGo campaign because, she says, “it’s time for us to reclaim South Africa.  There is no doubt it has been captured and if we don’t support this campaign now, then when?” She plans to join the marchers.

PE resident Larry Hide is also supporting the #ZumaMustGo campaign as he wants to see “an honest government, one that delivers to its people and puts the interest of SA and its citizens first.” Lasrry says that “Zuma and his cronies are putting their own interests first”.

Dan Brotman, 30, is a dual American-Israeli citizen and entrepreneur living in Cape Town for the past seven years. When he relocated “to a euphoric, post-World Cup SA,” says Dan, a US$ cost R7, SA had come out of the world economic crises “relatively unscathed, the EFF didn’t exist; and no one had heard of Nkandla.” Millennials are very mobile, he says, and choose to live wherever we can best maximise our potential… many of us will simply take our skills and vote with our feet”.

POSTED 11h40 >>>>>>>>>>>


Jewish political leaders, old and new, have been adding their voices to the cacophony of calls for Zuma’s head.

Widely respected as the senior active Jewish politician, Jack Bloom, told Jewish Report: “It is important at this time of national crisis that all sectors, including Jews, unite in protest and call for the resignation of President Jacob Zuma.” Bloom, who is Gauteng’s shadow health MEC, says that “there is a clear-cut moral issue – our country is not for sale! I urge everyone to sign the petitions and join the marches and other activities to show where we stand.”

Darren Bergman, a member of Parliament and former Johannesburg City Councillor for many years, said: “Although Jacob Zuma has been the best weapon for the DA, we need to put the interest of the country first.” The sooner the country could “stop President Zuma and the current slide to junk status,” said Darren, “the better it will be for all citizens of this beautiful country.” Bergman said he “will support all marches that call on the resignation of the president, provided they are peaceful…”

Likudnik Mike Fisher called on the ANC cadres “to have the courage to vote out their corrupt leader” and to stop their blind support of Palestinian terrorists, against all morals or consideration of human rights.”




POSTED 11h04 >>>>>>>>>>>

Previous JR Online live blogs: SAJBD – Citizen Cohen 


SAJBD - Citizen Cohen HOME


The 2014 Cape Council of the SAJBD – CLICK FOR LIVE POSTS from Sunday’s annual conference of the Cape Council of the SA Jewish Board of Deputies. Both the theme and content of the conference “Citizen Cohen – Our past; Our present; Our purpose!” has been carefully chosen to suit the times. SA Jewish Report Online is here and live blogging for those in Cape Town, around South Africa and globally – who can’t attend but would like to follow the proceedings…

POSTED 10h54 >>>>>>>>>>>


A grass-roots group emerged on Monday evening was a Facebook page called ‘chains4change’ which is hosted by activists Brenda Stern and Joclyn Katzen. Within 12 hours of putting up their Facebook page, says Brenda, chains4change had already had confirmed protests taking place at: Bree/Wale Street Cape Town, Alice Lane and West Streets Sandton, Grayston Drive, Huddle Park and various schools. The idea is that for people who are not marching, to simply get together and make small human chains.
zuma chainsforchange

They already have many more and members of the Jewish community are meeting and forming groups continuously. “Any chains happening in London on Friday?” asked Natalie Jaff Barnett this morning (they are).

Joclyn Katzen will be involved in what seems will be a large gathering at Huddle Park on Friday. “We will line the streets to form a human chain to peacefully call for the end to corruption that is robbing us and our beautiful country of a bright future.” Says Joclyn. “Together, South Africa will rise!”

Rolene Marks, an expat South African living in Israel, a journalist, blogger and radio personality (and member of the World WIZO executive), says “It is deeply distressing as an ex-pat to see what Zuma is doing to the Rainbow Nation by firing and re-shuffling members of his cabinet at will and making decisions that have dire consequences for South Africans.” Rolene, who regularly visits SA, adds that Zuma “is fast destroying a democracy that people fought and died for and turning it into a dangerous, intolerant dictatorship.”

POSTED 10h40 >>>>>>>>>>>

Mosiuoa Lekota talking in Pretoria right now and complaining that the security forces are there and that this represents a reminder of pre-democratic rule in SA

FIRST POST 10h30 >>>>>>>>>>>

It seems that the roads around the country are as quiet as Christmas day in Glenhazel and that SAs are either in the stay-away or at a march. All quiet on the home front. Feel free to add your own comments below


Continue Reading


  1. Jill

    Apr 7, 2017 at 10:01 am

    ‘Down with Zuma.  He should be in jail, not in our government.  We want moral leadership in South Africa!’

  2. Mordechai

    Apr 13, 2017 at 4:33 am

    ‘Surely the decision for Zuma to go rests with a)the voters at the ballot box when the next election is held or b) with the ANC to decide by a majority that Zuma should step down and be replaced… is that not democracy

    The protests are a nice fuzzy feeling that the community gets. The violence started long before Zuma, the free fall of the economy started long before Zuma…and at that time the entire SA Jewish community had no problem holding the leader of the time, one Nelson Mandela as the coming of the SA Messiah. If anyone thinks that the replacing of Zuma will make one bit of difference to the future of SA and in particular the Jewish community keep dreaming. The only answer for the SA Jewish community is to LEAVE NOW, and don’t listen to your self serving Rabbinic leaders who are only looking after their best interests and not yours. Any Rabbi telling you to stay does not cate about you or your childrens future, otherwise every Friday night and Shabbat drosha would be to plead for you to leave’

  3. Mordechai

    Apr 13, 2017 at 4:35 am

    ‘Jill, like you had moral leadership in SA with Zuma’s predecessors ?’

  4. David B

    Apr 20, 2017 at 8:47 am

    ‘Be careful what you wish for , as the wheel is turning towards Nkosazana Dlamini- Zuma who could very well be worse , or at best, more of the same  !  !  !  !’

  5. David B

    Apr 27, 2017 at 3:01 am

    ‘Be careful what you all wish for — 

       If J Z gets what he is wishing for , Dlamini Zuma will be his successor and she is very busy ingratiating herself in his image with his supporters –  so it may look like an improvement but may simply be more of the same with no difference to the level of commitment just the pockets it fills – and she would come in with relatively empty ones’

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Going to Rage like ‘playing Russian Roulette’



Expert in mass gathering medicine, Professor Efraim Kramer, told the SA Jewish Report this week that “Rage is nothing short of teenage Russian Roulette that may take the lives of its participants and cause large national collateral damage in disease and death, as it did last year.”

Kramer said this following a letter written by the Gauteng General Practitioners Collaboration (GGPC) was sent to local principals, begging them to tell students not to go to end-of-year Rage festivals because of the pandemic.

Matric Rage is a group of festivals held at South African coastal towns like Plettenberg Bay and Ballito to celebrate the end of school. Matric Rage 2020 is widely considered to be the super-spreader event that fuelled South Africa’s deadly second wave of COVID-19.

This year’s Matric Rage organisers say they have put safety measures and protocols in place, including that no one can attend without being fully vaccinated. But in their letter, the general practitioners (GPs) say, “However good their intentions, we don’t believe that the COVID-19 safety measures suggested by the organisers can prevent the spread of the virus. A large gathering like this, run over a few days, and consisting of excited teens is the ideal environment for a super-spreader event – as last year’s event demonstrated. Even a ‘vax passport’ [now that 18 year olds are eligible] and daily rapid antigen tests are unlikely to be able to contain an inevitable presence and spread of COVID-19 amongst the revellers and beyond them to more vulnerable people.

“Given the low vaccination rate in South Africa, a festival event of this size poses a considerable risk of a significant and unnecessary contribution to a fourth spike [wave],” they said.

Kramer, head of the Division of Emergency Medicine at the University of the Witwatersrand, and professor of Sports Medicine at Pretoria University, said, “No parent has the right to put their children, other children, and society at health risk because of irresponsible personal excuses that the youngsters need to chill out. These mass gathering, high-risk events can cause death – it’s no different to drinking and driving. Or will the same parents agree to drinking and driving because their kids had a difficult year?” he asked rhetorically.

“I agree that the young generation have sustained COVID-19 collateral damage psychologically, emotionally, and even mentally, all requiring adequate and appropriate countermeasures and social counselling activities,” said Kramer. “However, it’s what’s done, how it’s done, when and where it’s done, and the attention to health-precaution detail that’s primary and paramount.

“Regarding vaccination, these close-contact, mass gathering, crowded events remain a super-spreader, and have resulted in the unvaccinated and partially vaccinated occupying the majority of hospital ICU [intensive-care unit] beds, mechanical ventilators, and sadly, coffins,” he said.

“If Rage continues unabated against sound medical advice, no participant should be allowed back home without full COVID-19 testing. In addition, no participant should be allowed into any communal event including shuls or related activities without evidence of full COVID-19 testing. Finally, no participant should be allowed back to school or education institutions without evidence of full COVID-19 testing.

“Let us not redress COVID-19 collateral damage by bring out the worst in us,” he pleaded. “Let it rather bring out the best, the most innovative, the most exciting, energetic, low risk, safety-assured events that allow us all – young and old – to socialise with each other again. It can be done with discipline, attention to detail, direction, and supervision with effective command and control. All for one, and one for all.”

But one Cape Town parent, Mike Abel, said he will allow his son to go to Rage. “The fine balancing act as a parent is always to consider your children’s physical health and their mental health. These two don’t always go hand in hand when your kids run onto a rugby or hockey pitch with gum guards, head guards, knee guards, and silent words to the gods,” he said.

“Lockdown and COVID-19 restrictions have played havoc with mental and physical health. As social creatures, our children have become more sedentary and disconnected. Rage is an opportunity for excitement, fun, and reconnection.

“Our son is 18 and vaccinated. Is Rage ideal? No. Is it 100% safe? No. Do we think it’s the right decision for him to go? Yes. It will be better for him than not going. He’ll have fun. He’ll let off steam. He’ll connect, laugh, play, swim, and enjoy his new-found freedom and transition from school to this new chapter and adventure. Will we sleep easy while he’s there? No. But we hope his maturity, sense of responsibility, and values will guide him well-ish. Our kids need a degree of risk and freedom for both their physical and mental well-being.”

The GGPC letter was drafted by a group of GPs including three local Jewish doctors. One of them, Dr Sheri Fanaroff, said, “Even with COVID-19 protocols in place, in reality they don’t happen. It’s the same as saying there should be no drugs allowed, but we know there are. I have a matric child, and I’m happy for her to go away and have fun, but not to a massive organised event. Yes, they’ve had a lousy two years, but there are safer ways to have fun. Parents don’t want to make their child be the only one that’s excluded, and we would rather the events be cancelled altogether than force parents and children to make a choice.

“The other issue is that many kids born later in the year won’t be fully vaccinated and two weeks post vaccination by the time Rage comes. Many don’t want to get vaccinated during exams,” she said. “And while young people don’t always get extremely ill from COVID-19, we are seeing a fair amount of long-term consequences. A good percent of this age group are battling six months later with chronic fatigue, arthritis, joint pain, brain fog, and the emotional consequences of all of that.”

Another GP involved in the drafting of the letter, Dr Daniel Israel, said, “One has to differentiate between normal social events and super-spreader events. I’m pretty pro people getting out socially at the moment with safe protocols, but super-spreader events are a no-go. These are teenagers who have just finished matric, and everything about their partying has to do with consumption of alcohol, physical closeness, and small spaces, which all lends itself to COVID-19 spreading. So, by the nature of the people who come to it, you can’t have a safe event.

“A question could be, ‘well these are young, healthy kids – what’s the difference?’ But we know even from last year that when they get home, they don’t isolate properly, they go home on planes, and they do spread it,” he said. “So, the same way that we haven’t been able to do certain things in a pandemic – like Broadway is closed – we think Rage should be closed too. We may be able to have holidays, but not Rage. We’re hoping that next year, we’ll be in a different place.”

Continue Reading


Twenty-one year old survives COVID-19 by a breath



We’ve all heard that COVID-19 doesn’t generally affect young people. So when Capetonian Ryan Lipman tested positive in late July, he thought his age was in his favour. He was wrong.

The young musician fought for his life for three weeks in hospital, including 11 days in the intensive care unit (ICU). Now, he has survived to tell the tale, and is begging the unvaccinated to get the jab.

“That first night in hospital was when I realised how serious COVID-19 is,” says Lipman. “Without oxygen, it feels like you are trying to breathe through a toothpick. You cannot get enough air into your lungs.

“I messaged my mom saying how scared I was. I believed that this was how it was going to end. I was going to die from COVID-19.”

He was the youngest COVID-19 pneumonia ICU patient at Milnerton Mediclinic. Recalling the moment he was wheeled in, he says, “All I could see was people on ventilators. Mouths open. Pipes everywhere. I completely lost it. I begged them not to let me die. I barely ever cry, but being in the ICU at the age of 21 with COVID-19 pneumonia, not knowing if you will ever see your family again … trust me, you learn that crying is pretty much all you do.”

Going back to the beginning, he says his family was careful to follow the COVID-19 protocols. “All I ever wanted was to stay clear of this virus. But we celebrated my dad’s birthday by going out for supper – a rare treat in a pandemic.” He’s not sure where his family picked up the virus, but it could have been there. First, his mother got sick, but she had already had one dose of the vaccine. His father had had two doses, and only had mild symptoms.

Lipman also tested positive. He wasn’t vaccinated as he was too young at the time. “It started with chills and a headache. While I have asthma, I’m 21 and healthy.” They all registered with the Community Security Organisation’s COVID-19 Wellness Programme. “Without this monitoring programme, I don’t think I would be alive today,” he says.

“On day two, I woke up with body aches and fatigue. With every movement you make, it feels like someone is aggressively hurting you. Day three began with a raging fever that wouldn’t go down, day four with pain in my chest and back. With a dry cough and extreme dizziness, I woke up on day eight with my oxygen levels dropping to 90%. My dad decided he was taking me to the hospital. At first, I refused. Why would I need to go to hospital for COVID-19? This doesn’t happen to young people.”

But he eventually agreed, and it turned out to be a lifesaving decision. “I later asked my doctors what would have happened if my father hadn’t brought me in when he did. They told me that any later, the outcome would’ve been very different.”

At the hospital, he says, “One nurse put a nasal cannula in my nose, one inserted a drip and one checked my blood pressure and oxygen saturation, which were now at 88%.

“A representative from Pathcare came to take a ‘blood gas’ from an artery to see exactly how much oxygen was in the blood. The pain is excruciating because it’s done ‘blind’. You can’t see an artery, so if the person drawing the blood doesn’t hit the artery, the needle digs deeper.”

The Emergency Room doctor listened to Lipman’s lungs. “I can still hear her shouting, ‘I think we have a case of COVID-19 pneumonia, I need dexamethasone’. The doctor explained that I was hypoxic.” He was admitted. The next morning, his oxygen levels were still at 88%.

“Night arrives and my fear gets worse as I still feel like I cannot get air into my lungs. I ask the nurse to increase the flow rate. At about two in the morning, my breathing problems start to increase again. I find my remote on the floor and manage to grab it with the small amount of energy I have, but it had stopped working.

“It was at this point I started to believe that this was my end. I prayed to G-d and told Him that if it’s my time, he must just take me. I managed to crawl out the bed and banged on the window to get the nurse’s attention. After fixing my remote, I felt that maybe the flow of oxygen was too much, making it even more difficult to breathe. As she slightly decreased the flow of oxygen, an overwhelming feeling of relief came over me as I could finally breathe.”

His oxygen levels went down to 86%, and he was put on a high flow oxygen system. “This delivers humidified oxygen up to 60 litres per minute. They left me for two hours flat on my stomach to see if they could get my oxygen levels back to at least 95%. This is an incredibly uncomfortable experience. The head nurse checked my SATS again – 89%. She added a re-breather mask. I’m now on the highest amount of oxygen before they ventilate you.”

Lipman was then moved to ICU, where he saw things that no 21-year-old should see – “the weeping cries of people saying goodbye to their family members, people getting intubated in front of you, and people passing away.

“The head nurse promised me he would do everything to get me out of there alive and said I needed to keep positive. I’ve learnt that as much as COVID-19 is a physical fight, it’s also a mental fight.”

His parents were allowed to visit him in ICU. “As my father left, I begged him to get me out of there. Every day in ICU was the same. Imagine a blood gas every morning? To stop this pain, my doctor decided that I would need an arterial line for blood to be taken at any time without having to stab a needle into my artery. I would basically become a ‘blood tap’. As the line was inserted, I screamed in pain. As soon as the doctor flushed the line, my entire hand started to burn. An intense burning never experienced before in my life.”

Eating was a huge battle, as “every time that mask came off for a few seconds, I would need to catch my breath. Just slightly adjusting my body so that the physios could work on my back would feel like I had run a marathon.

“Each day, the physios push you to your max with breathing exercises as well as physical exercises. It took six days to get me standing and another five days to learn how to walk again.”

Lipman slowly and miraculously recovered. “I couldn’t believe I survived. I constantly feared death. It was too close for comfort.”

Before he left the hospital, he returned to the ICU one more time to thank them. “All I needed to say was ‘thank you all for saving my life’ to turn me into a complete emotional wreck. ‘I could have died, I could have died,’ I cried. ‘But you didn’t. You were given a second chance at life – now take it,’ they said.

“This experience has taught me so many things, but mainly, to be grateful for every single moment,” he says. “I was nearly on a ventilator, fighting for my life, and endured traumatic events that will most likely haunt me forever. My parents were vaccinated and I wasn’t. Please get vaccinated.”

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Community called to back anti-corruption body



A proposition for a new, independent anti-corruption body landed on President Cyril Ramaphosa’s desk on Tuesday, 24 August, and those who have spent years toiling to make it happen are asking the South African Jewish community to support it in any way it can.

“Our community was burnt by the actions of the ‘Gupta minyan’ during state capture,” says community stalwart Mark Hyman. He is the founder and director of a new organisation called Citizens for Integrity, and played a key role in putting together the memorandum sent by nongovernmental organisation (NGO) Accountability Now to the president this week.

“Corruption has decimated other Jewish communities living in failed African states. This is relevant to us all. As Jews, we cannot stand by and let corruption happen. We need to get behind this process.”

Accountability Now proposes the formation of a Chapter Nine anti-corruption body provisionally called the Integrity Commission. Chapter Nine institutions refer to organisations established in terms of Chapter 9 of the South African Constitution to guard democracy.

One of Accountability Now’s directors, Paul Hoffman SC, says that this specialist, elite, and independent anti-corruption body would help to prevent, combat, investigate, and prosecute the corrupt in our midst.

“Serious corruption, be it in the form of state capture, ‘covidpreneurism’, or orchestrated looting and rioting is the number-one threat to the rule of law and the success of our Constitution,” says Hoffman.

Accountability Now has advocated the need for such a body for more than a decade. It believes it has now become a matter of urgency due to the shrinking economy and unrest being fomented. “The beauty of the Chapter Nine umbrella is that the body cannot be closed down as easily as the Scorpions were dissolved,” says Hoffman.

In the memorandum that was sent to the president and Parliament this week, Accountability Now called for the introduction of a constitutional amendment and enabling legislation for the establishment of constitutionally compliant anti-corruption machinery of state in South Africa.

“Serious forms of corruption like grand corruption, state capture, and kleptocracy in South Africa are criminal violations of fundamental constitutional and human rights. They are literally killing many South Africans, mostly the poorest, and some of the whistle blowers,” says Hoffman.

“The anti-corruption machinery of state in South Africa isn’t fit for purpose, especially regarding serious corruption in all its forms,” he says.

Hoffman says Ramaphosa was asked in Parliament in 2019 to consider the establishment of a Chapter Nine anti-corruption body, to which he replied that he would “mull over” the “refreshing idea”.

Then, in August 2020, the African National Congress (ANC) National Executive Committee (NEC) instructed cabinet to set up new anti-corruption entity. It envisaged a stand-alone, single, permanent, and independent body, capable of dealing with corruption without fear, favour, or prejudice. That resolution hasn’t been acted on openly yet.

However, in his State of the Nation address in February, Ramaphosa announced that there was a long-term plan for a new anti-corruption body that reported to Parliament, but he would need to consult about it over the next two years.

“He clearly didn’t see it as urgent then, but we disagree, as South Africa is sliding toward failed-state status,” says Hoffman. “So, we sat down and prepared a constitutional amendment and enabling legislation. To get there, we have proposed a divorce between the NPA [National Prosecuting Authority] and the justice department so as to secure the independence of the NPA and eliminate the influence of the executive branch of government over it.

“We also proposed a definition of serious corruption which is those cases in which more than R5 million is involved. Only cases of serious corruption will be dealt with by this new commission. The idea is that it will be a ‘one stop shop’ with a branch in each province. It will investigate and prosecute under one leadership, as the Scorpions did before it was disbanded,” he says.

“All aspects of serious corruption will be dealt with by this one body,” he says. “It will be overseen only by Parliament, and have its own accounting officer. Parliament will determine the name of such a body in the process of legislating it.

“The Hawks will carry on – they will lose jurisdiction only in dealing with serious corruption. The NPA will also continue, but the prosecuting of serious corruption will go to this new body. We also say that this new body must be given guaranteed finances – it should be entitled to 0.03% of the national budget in the preceding year.

“It will have civil jurisdiction and the capacity to recover loot, seize and preserve proceeds, and ensure that they are restored to those who were looted,” says Hoffman. “We hope that a good half of the estimated R1.5 trillion of state-capture loot will be recovered within a year of this body being formed. The longer we leave it, the harder is it to chase up. Already, banks and professionals caught up in state capture and exposed at the Zondo Commission are low-hanging fruit.”

He says the reason they have done this now is because “we believe its time has come. First, the ANC NEC asked for it. There might be slightly different terminology, but nothing we are proposing is different to what it asked for in August last year. Then, in July 2021, the Democratic Alliance announced that it wanted the Hawks to be converted into an anti-corruption body under Chapter 9. This is a step in the right direction, but we believe it’s not enough in the current circumstances. The NPA is unable to do its work on corruption because of saboteurs planted within it by [former president, Jacob] Zuma. Rather than swim against the tide, handpick independent experts for a new organisation so that it can do its work properly.”

Hoffman says this change is important and urgent for us all, but particularly for the business community, which holds the key to turning the beloved country around.

“New investment in South Africa won’t occur if the perception is that it is a corrupt country. But if the government ‘walks the walk’ on countering corruption, confidence will grow that investment is safer. Also, it’s about keeping to the rule of law and realising the promise of the Constitution and its Bill of Rights. Poverty, inequality, and joblessness can best be addressed via the vigorous growth of the economy.”

Willie Hofmeyr, the retired head of the asset forfeiture unit at the NPA, and also a founder and director of Citizens for Integrity, has also put his weight behind the initiative. “Given where we are in South Africa, we need a body whose sole focus is corruption,” he says. “The Jewish community has always been at the forefront of change in South Africa. Corruption is our biggest challenge since apartheid. It’s the biggest threat our country faces, and it’s a war that we cannot afford to lose.”

Hoffman is asking the community to be “active and participative citizens, and write to the president and the secretary of constitutional review in Parliament expressing your support”.

In addition, he says, “Accountability Now is a small section 18A compliant NGO that’s entirely reliant upon donations to do its work. All directors and trustees are unpaid volunteers, and its overheads are kept to the barest minimum. If you are of a mind to support Accountability Now, a pay gate portal is available on its website.”

Visit the integrity commission page,, for more information and a look at the draft bills proposed.

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