2017 was a year marked by increasing and deafening allegations of state capture involving the then President. Former political prisoner, Rivonia trial accused and struggle icon, Ahmed Kathrada, passed away a few months after he had written an open letter to President Zuma urging him to step down from office.
Kathrada’s memorial service was used as a rallying point when the President announced a Cabinet shuffle just days before the service was held, and was followed by national anti-corruption marches.
The Supreme Court of Appeal and Constitutional Court both issued rulings, making findings against the President.
#GuptaLeaks resulted in about 200 000 emails being disclosed to the global public and reported on extensively, detailing the involvement in state capture projects of multiple state officials (including ministers), and a prominent business family, and implicating the President and his family too. Several professional organisations with headquarters outside of South Africa were accused of being complicit in the capture project.
In April, the South African Social Security Agency missed a court-imposed deadline to find a new social grants payment provider, affecting the payments of millions of grant recipients.
The year 2017 also saw continued investigations by civil society partners and affected families, of apartheid-era atrocities and killings, including the re-opening of the Ahmed Timol Inquest.
In December, the ANC’s 54th National Elective Conference elected Cyril Ramaphosa as President of the ANC by a narrow margin. In late December, President Zuma announced that the government would subsidise free higher education for poor and working-class students.
OSF-SA issued grants to 84 grantees. In addition, multi-year grants and auto-renewals that met certain criteria were initiated.
Isaac Shongwe completed his term as Board Chairperson and stepped down by December. Yasmin Carrim was appointed the 7th Board Chairperson of OSF-SA, and Mary-Jane Morifi was appointed as the Deputy Chairperson.
The first Africa Symposium on Legal Empowerment hosted by OSF-SA was held at Liliesleaf, with over 50 participants from different parts of the world attending and focussing on community justice work in the region.
A new OSF and Omidyar Network co-funded South Africa Media Innovation Program was launched with the Media Development Investment Fund (MDIF) as the local implementing partner with a local advisory panel. SAMIP is a three-year $4 million fund to provide dedicated funding and capacity building support to new, young and black innovative media practitioners who focus on using digital innovation in telling daily stories to all communities.
2017 grants: 84