Mandela Rhodes Scholars

But gay is a Western invention

By Matthew Beetar Wow, go Hillary Clinton! As a friend on Facebook said, “It’s about time that the world’s most powerful leaders started acting like leaders”. In her recent speech made before the UN, the US Secretary of State argues, in short, that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered (LGBT) rights are human rights, concluding that…

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So much writing, is anyone reading?

By Suntosh Pillay It started innocently enough. But then again, I should have known better. My parents always said don’t go into strange places with strange people. But I couldn’t resist. Before I knew it, I was knee-deep in the online jungle called Amazon. Special offers were popping up in every corner. Books that I’ve…

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COP17: A critical look at SA’s role

By Alex Lenferna South Africa hosts the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change — the 17th Conference of the Parties (COP 17) — in Durban, starting today. But what about South Africa’s own response to climate change, and how coherent and meaningful is our response, really? Firstly, let’s look at South Africa’s emissions reduction…

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Waiting for 2pm on Gothic Tuesday

By Suntosh Pillay My one concern about Black Tuesday was that if the 400 MPs deciding our future decided not to pass the secrecy bill, then a celebratory White Wednesday might follow and, quite frankly, dressing up in white is never as flattering as black. In faded black jeans, looking like a trainee Gothic, I…

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Blue Tuesday

By Zuki Mqolomba I woke up to a wardrobe dilemma this morning. Given the choice of a litany of unattractive black attire I’d long abandoned given the season, I was rattled by the political choice imposed on me on this ordinary Tuesday-turned-extraordinary. By accident, omission or actual deliberation, my choice of “shirt, skirt, shoes and…

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Teaching to transgress

By Athambile Masola The public education system is failing in South Africa. This is nothing new. As the year comes to an end we will soon be bombarded with the matric results that will confirm the consequences of an unequal education system. We will all lament, shake our heads in despair, point fingers at the…

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‘Shoot the boer’ our history

By Beth Vale A week ago, the equality court announced its verdict that the lyrics of struggle song “Dubul’ ibhunu” or “shoot the boer’ should be considered hate speech. The trial has evoked months of public debate and has not been short of media commentary. Despite this, it is only in the last few days…

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‘Eish, you’re not South African’

By Cano Ssemakalu It can be tough being a foreigner in South Africa, even if you are here legally. I have lived here for seven years now, during which I’ve been treated like a South African by the very generous government and its people. But my grievance is with the corporations in the private sector…

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Silly season

By Lawrence Mashimbye The so-called “strike season” in South Africa is no longer funny. Day in and day out we hear one union after the other calling workers to riot. I know the complaints around conditions of employment and salary increases are pertinent and imperative, particularly in a country that survived apartheid and its bad…

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Who belongs here?

By Athambile Masola I recently witnessed a disturbing incident: while walking through a parking lot in the shopping complex here in Grahamstown I noticed a young man approach a woman driving a Mercedes Benz with his hands cupped as though he were asking for something. The woman was already in her car and she rolled…

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