SUNDAY TIMES - From SONA to Zika: 10 things that happened this week you should know about,,
Sunday Times News By Staff Reporter, 2016-02-12

From SONA to Zika: 10 things that happened this week you should know about

President Jacob Zuma, Mrs Bongi Zuma, Parliament Speaker Baleka Mbete and NCOP Chairperson Thandi Modise arrive at Parliament for the State of the Nation Address. 11/02/2016.
Image: GCIS

Need to catch up on what happened this week before that big dinner party? From the State of the Nation address to Nkandla, we round up some of the big stories - local and international - that made the news...

1) State of the Nation: Speeches and protests

President Jacob Zuma delivered his annual State of the Nation address in parliament on Thursday, but it was far from smooth sailing. In the hours leading up to SONA, protests erupted outside parliament. Zuma finally gave his speech after more than an hour of disruptions and interruptions, mostly by members of the Economic Freedom Fighters and Cope's Terror Lekota, who were asked to leave the National Assembly. As for the speech itself, experts were unsure it 'touched the nerve of the nation'.



2) State of the Nation: the red carpet

The State of the Nation Address may be focused on political topics but with every important event come important fashion moments. From Thuli Madonsela's canary yellow gown to the long gold dress of Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba's wife, Noma, designer Gert-Johan Coetzee dominated the red carpet. Here are our best and worst looks from the night.



3) Nkandla at the ConCourt

Counsel for President Zuma and senior ANC members in cabinet - and parliament - conceded before Constitutional Court justices that they were wrong to act against Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's report that found Zuma to have unduly benefited from non-security upgrades to his home. The EFF, DA, and Public Protector Thuli Madonsela want to the Constitutional Court to clarify the nature and extent of the chapter nine institution’s powers to take remedial action. They argued that Zuma failed to comply with Madonsela’s findings. Judgment was reserved.



4) Trapped Lily Miners

Rescue teams were working non-stop this week to get to the last three mineworkers after disaster struck at Lily Mine in Louisville, near Barberton in Mpumalanga. Two women, Yvonne Mnisi and Pretty Mabuza as well as one man, Solomon Nyarenda, were trapped in a metal container underground. The three were in the lamp room, which was housed in the container, when a central pillar of ore, called a crown pillar, collapsed last Friday. The container was swallowed up in a sink hole as big as a rugby field.



5) EFF vs the Guptas

The EFF's legal team failed this week to convince the Pretoria High Court that the issuing of threats against the Gupta family were just "political campaigning" and not an incitement to violence. This followed Malema's comments that journalists working for the Gupta's ANN7 and The New Age would not be welcome to cover party events. Malema also called for the Guptas to be driven out of Gauteng and South Africa. The EFF plans to appeal the judgment and also published a list of '25 reasons why the Guptas must go (sic)'.



6) Mandla Mandela's marriage

Eastern Cape traditional leaders want answers from Nelson Mandela’s grandson Nkosi Zwelivelile 'Mandla' Mandela about why he reportedly converted to Islam when he married Rabia Clarke last week, apparently without any traditional leaders present at the ceremony. The marriage was the fourth for Mandela, who is the traditional chief of Mvezo. Mandela is still legally married to his first wife, Tando Mabunu-Mandela, with whom he is embroiled in a long and bitter divorce. He continued to make the news at the State of the Nation when he arrived with his third ''wife' Swazi princess Nodiyala Mbali Makhathini.



7) Turkey's refugee threat

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened this week to send millions of refugees in Turkey to EU member states as Nato agreed to deploy ships to ease the migrant crisis. Meanwhile world powers Friday agreed an ambitious plan to cease hostilities in war-racked Syria, but the Munich deal left out the Islamic State group and Al-Qaeda's local branch, leaving analysts to doubt its viability.



8) New Hampshire votes

Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders resoundingly won Tuesday's presidential primaries in New Hampshire in the second key test of the long, unpredictable race for the White House.  For the past 60 years or so, most of the candidates who ended up taking the White House won their party's primary in New Hampshire. Tellingly, the last three presidents - Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton - were all elected despite losing in New Hampshire.



9) Zika virus latest

A pregnant woman has been diagnosed with the Zika virus in Australia, while China has confirmed its first case of the Zika virus in a man. In both cases the disease was acquired overseas. Zika has spread quickly in South and Central America and the Caribbean, with Brazil the worst affected country. The World Health Organization said it will know in a matter of weeks whether the Zika virus causes microcephaly and the severe neurological disorder Guillain-Barre syndrome



10) ON THE LIGHTER SIDE: Kanye West finally unleashes his new album

Kanye West has called it the 'best album in the world' - and now it even has an official name. Last month he got into a twitter war with Wiz Khalifa over his decision to title the album 'Waves' - with West letting rip at the rapper's personal life, his musical success and his dress sense. The seventh solo album, now called 'The Life of Pablo', was revealed at an elaborate fashion/album launch at Madison Square Garden in New York.