Riaan Wolmarans

Memories

Today I’m leaving the Mail & Guardian Online. I’m moving to London, for the adventure and the work experience. Don’t worry — I’m by no means a disillusioned South African. I love it here and I will be back. For the last Between the Pages podcast, Tony Lankester asked me to sum up my 10…

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And then the racists came …

Not long ago I remarked to a colleague that I had not run into much trouble while moderating reader comments on Thought Leader. Apart from the occasional personal insult or such, readers were mostly contributing well-reasoned and interesting comments, putting forward their views without attacking Thought Leader bloggers or other readers unfairly. Sadly, in the…

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A world without sub-editors

I have, stored away safely in my head, a list of people who should be dragged into the street and shot. Don’t worry — I am not declaring war on women, Jews, lesbians, Russians, Republicans, rightwingers or communists. It’s simply a list of those around me who were seemingly born missing a significant quantity of…

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May these sheep all run off a cliff

I hate sheep. Afrikaans sheep, to be exact, and more specifically, Christian Afrikaans sheep. Some excellent thoughts have been shared on Thought Leader in the past week on Rapport editor Tim du Plessis’s firing of columnist Deon Maas for sharing his thoughts on satanism, resulting in a vehement SMS and email campaign by readers that…

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Spend the night in Kliptown

The historic area of Kliptown in Soweto was in the news on Monday when a swanky four-star hotel opened its doors — the first such establishment in Soweto. The Freedom Charter was signed in Kliptown in 1955, and the area — which includes Freedom Square — is now one of the attractions helping Soweto grow…

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‘My, Professor Dumbledore, what a big wand you have!’

So JK Rowling has outed Albus Dumbledore, wizard supreme and mentor of Harry Potter, as being gay. She admitted this last Friday at Carnegie Hall in New York City when a young fan asked her if the headmaster of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardy had ever fallen in love. “My truthful answer to…

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New weapon in traffic cops’ arsenal

The Sunday Times this week reported on the long-promised demerit scheme set to weed out South Africa’s worst drivers. Habitual offenders will rack up points depending on the severity of their traffic mishap, thus risking the suspension or cancellation of their driver’s licences. A pilot project to test the system will be launched in Pretoria/Tshwane…

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Who are the greatest South African villains?

Wizard magazine in the United States, which focuses on comic books, anime, gaming and such, last year compiled a list of the 100 greatest villains of all time from movies, comics, television, video games and so forth. Though many of the villains on the list will be known only to those with a fair interest…

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Pop career or public torture?

I’m not an Idols fan. The seemingly endless weeks of elimination rounds, public voting frenzy, teary-eyed wannabe pop stars going back home to whatever little dorp they came from … it leaves me cold. However, I must confess to being fascinated by the initial auditions — the ones that are replayed incessantly on the Idols…

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New Zealand — the capital city of Australia

The capital city of Zimbabwe is Kinshasa, and the capital of Australia is either New Zealand or Lisbon. Budapest is the capital of the Republic of Ireland, and Rwanda is the main city of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Oh, and in South African politics, the tripartite alliance comprises the Democratic Alliance. These are just…

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