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Bert Olivier

Cultural embodiments of the life and death instincts in human beings

Since the 19th century, when the heirs of 17th- and 18th-century British empiricism started thinking of the social implications of the empiricist doctrine, that all we know comes from experience, thinkers like Lord Shaftesbury and his ilk have believed that human society was “perfectible”. After all, if society could be arranged in such a way…

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Mandela Rhodes Scholars

Of birth rights and gay rights

By Steven Hussey “Nobody is born gay” reads the headline of a billboard by a so-called “pro-ex-gay” non-profit in the United States. The ad shows identical twin brothers with the revelation, “One gay. One not.” Profound. Ironically, the openly gay South African model featured in the ad, who has no twin brother and whose image…

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Mandela Rhodes Scholars

South Africa, we can do and be better

By Andrew Ihsaan Gasnolar It would seem that racism is a divisive topic. It seems to me that the rattling of that word bothers people. It brings out such defensive reactions. It is troubling to see how easy it is to become self-righteous, indignant and defensive. We must guard against this tendency. Let us not…

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Vusi Gumede

Towards a better development agenda for the global south

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) expire in 2015. They were adopted in September 2000 through the Millennium Declaration at the 55th session of the United Nations General Assembly, convened as the Millennium Assembly. The MDGs, understood to be a global development agenda, focused on poverty reduction, access to education, gender parity, healthcare access, sustainable development…

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William Saunderson-Meyer

Tokoloshe stalks the ANC’s clever high flyers

Poor Ellen Tshabalala and her BCom (Unisa) DipLabRel (Unisa). No one wants to believe that the dog ate her homework. Last week Parliament’s communication portfolio committee recommended, for the second time, that Tshabalala be suspended “with immediate effect” from her position as chair of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) board because she had lied…

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Thabang Motsohi

Is there a good story to tell out there?

In recent weeks there has been a consistent stream of cautionary advice coming from leading economists and analysts warning us that our economic situation is so dire there is a danger that our ability to continue to provide social services at the current levels will be seriously constrained and may certainly lead to rolling social…

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Bert Olivier

Economy of luxury: We’re like rabbits caught in the headlights

Many readers will be familiar with Watership Down, Richard Adams’ wonderful, albeit sometimes terrifying, allegorical tale of a band of rabbits fleeing from a doomed warren (at the instigation of Fiver, a clairvoyant rabbit, who “saw” the imminent destruction of the warren by humans to make way for a building construction development). In the novel…

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Mac Maha-Magic, Malema and America the land of the not so free

It's no rise and all fall for Malema, Mac Maharaj does some more magic, and rage is on the rise in the US over no justice for black citizens.

AWOL president

When Parliament is at war and politicians are getting snotklapped, who do we call to lead us out of this Eskom-inspired darkness? Hint: Not Zuma.

Voices of Africa

The sermon won’t die: Why Pastor James David Manning’s ideas about Africa are dangerous

When I received Pastor James David Manning’s “Black Folk” sermon for the second time on Whatsapp two weeks ago I cringed. It was first forwarded to me by a Malawian living in South Africa and, this time, from a Zimbabwean living in the US. This signaled to me that his controversial sermon had resurfaced for […]

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Sequel to Mandela’s autobiography to be published in 2015

A sequel to the late Nelson’s Mandela’s autobiography The Long Walk to Freedom is to be published in South Africa next year, the former president’s foundation said on Wednesday. The book titled The Presidential Years, which Mandela began writing in 1998, will be based on his five years in office. He had already drafted 10 […]

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I’m an African African-American

The term “African-American” is controversial and highly debatable. I have stood on the sidelines firmly glued to words that sprang up from Africans and African-Americans (or Black Americans as some prefer) as both groups expressed their opinions in regards to the term. “African-Americans are classless”, “I cannot trace my roots back to Africa, hence I am […]

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Nigerian luxury handbags make their mark overseas

Mention northern Nigeria and the first thing that may spring to mind is Boko Haram. Zainab Ashadu is hoping to change that — by selling designer handbags. The Nigerian designer is the brains behind the Zashadu brand, whose modern, colourful creations use the ancient art of tanning and leather-dyeing from the country’s north. “I think […]

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