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David Saks

The latest neo-fascist threat from Cosatu: Should I laugh or start worrying?

Earlier this week, the Western Cape branch of Cosatu put out a statement that, even by the increasingly feral standards of hard-core left-wing politics in South Africa, was quite extraordinary. Issued in the name of Provincial Secretary Tony Ehrenreich, this presented the SA Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) with an ultimatum to cease its “Zionist…

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Thabang Motsohi

ANC must quit the alliance

For many people the last 20 years was a period of lost opportunities characterised by mediocre progress on the economic front and unmet promises. On the contrary, the ANC claims that there is a good story to tell. For the owners of capital, it has indeed been a period of unprecedented growth in their wealth…

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Bert Olivier

Max Weber on capitalism and religion

What must surely count as one of the shrewdest, albeit debatable, accounts of the distinctive traits of capitalism was penned by the justly famous German sociologist Max Weber in his controversial book, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism of 1930 (London: Routledge Classics, 2001). The reasons for its controversial status are summarised as…

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Athambile Masola

#Bringbackourgirls, Lwandle, Gaza and detaching from this world

It started with the #Bringbackourgirls campaign. I hadn’t followed the story closely, but when I read articles to make sense of what had happened, I couldn’t make sense of it. I tried to imagine people coming into my school and taking away the students and there being no sense of security or outcry. I tried…

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Gcobani Qambela

David Saks and the naturalness of white contempt

In Ubuntu: Curating the Archive (edited by Leonhard Praeg and Siphokazi Magadla), Ama Biney notes in the chapter “The Historical Discourse on Humanism: Interrogating the Paradoxes” that Aimé Cesaire notably made the case that Hitler’s crime was mainly that “he applied to Europe colonialist procedures, which until then had been reserved exclusively for the Arabs…

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William Saunderson-Meyer

Don’t become just another statistic on September 5

Numbers never tell the whole story. They rarely reveal the nuance of cause and effect and are vulnerable to massaging by vested interests. Sometimes, however, they are as startling and eye popping as a punch to the nose. Take the astounding violence of this society. South African Police Service (SAPS) statistics show that between April…

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Reader Blog

Rethinking ‘townships’

By Lucille Dawkshas What are “townships”? I’ve often thought of them in terms of the visual meaning of outlying “ships” to the central harbour of a CBD, but what makes suburban areas any different? Wikipedia’s contributors tell me “townships” are: “the (often underdeveloped) urban living areas that, from the late 19th century until the end…

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US: Surveillance harming journalism and democracy

A Human Rights Watch report has investigated the effect government spying in the US has had on media freedom and the right to counsel.

Weekend 101: Contraception and the Commonwealth Games

Unemployment on the rise, contraceptives for students and SA would totally dig to host the Commonwealth Games, according to the minister of selfies.

Voices of Africa

Commonwealth Games – Kenyan cyclists dream big

From delivering milk in the hills of Kenya to racing through the streets of Glasgow at the Commonwealth Games, it is fair to say life is about to change drastically for John Njoroge, Suleiman Kangangi and Paul Ajiko. Between them the three Kenyans will compete in the 2014 Commonwealth Games time trial on Thursday July 31, […]

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West Africa Ebola outbreak grabs attention of UK

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa poses a “very serious threat” to Britain, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said on Wednesday, as England’s public health authority warned that the virus was out of control. Hammond was to chair a meeting of Cobra, the government’s crisis response committee, to assess Britain’s preparations to cope with any possible […]

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Rape: A weapon on the battlefields and in the suburbs

American actress Angelina Jolie and British Foreign Secretary William Hague hosted a War Zone Rape Summit in London last month. Officially named ‘the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict’, it sought to highlight and combat the use of sexual violence against women and children within war zones. The event was the biggest of its kind […]

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French winemaker Castel bottles its first Ethiopian wine

The grape names – merlot, syrah, cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay – are distinctly French, but the label on the Rift Valley wines is surprising: made in Ethiopia. The French beverage giant Castel, one of the world’s biggest producers of wines and beers, is raising a glass to its first production of 1.2-million bottles of Ethiopian Rift Valley wine. […]

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