Equality

The things we do in the name of transformation

I came across the recent cover of Independent Education and I was troubled. It is a picture of a black boy donned in Scottish garb while participating in a parade. The blurb inside the magazine explaining the front cover reads: “About our cover: Grade 10 student Sanele Mboto is the current drum major of the St…

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Does racism exist in a world without races?

If one does not believe that race exists, then one will not believe that racism exists. Since racism is real, we should not reject the existence of race. This simple argument appears to stand behind the rather vicious repudiation of “colour-blindness”, “not seeing race”, and other variations of the cardinal sins of our racialised social…

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Jon Qwelane – apologise and pay up!

A homophobic columnist is still avoiding responsibility, eight years on. The Psychological Society of South Africa (PsySSA) – a friend of the court in this matter – is shocked and dismayed at the outcome of last week’s court hearing at which Jon Qwelane was granted an indefinite postponement in a hate speech case concerning an…

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High schools must transform and alumni have an important role to play

Sometime this week I saw some profound words that former Model C schools prepare learners for a world that no longer exists. I couldn’t agree more. I follow my alma mater on Facebook: Collegiate High School for Girls in Port Elizabeth. I need to state from the onset that I am incredibly proud of this…

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In the ‘pitfalls’ of the national democratic revolution

Way back in 1998, American constitutional theorist Prof Karl Klare published a now famous article in which he set out to define South Africa’s post-apartheid constitutional project. He called this ‘transformative constitutionalism’ and defined it as follows: ‘a long-term project of constitutional enactment, interpretation, and enforcement committed (not in isolation, of course, but in a…

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A letter to a mother who raised black girls

Dear Mama I don’t know if you’ve seen the news: young girls at Pretoria Girls High School have been in the news because their school has racist hair rules. Apparently their some of their parents don’t agree with their protest. What has also been in the news is the story about 3000 girls in the…

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Raising hair, crowning glory: A poem to thank Pretoria Girls High

By Thirusha Naidu Raising Hair, Crowning Glory Thank you Pretoria Girls High You have introduced us To future heroes. Yesterday, asleep In the soft arms of their mothers Now roused. Coldly, by bleached fingers, from childhood sleep. Dragged by the hair, Protesting, into womanhood . Thank you Pretoria Girls High By your Amazing Grace Africa’s…

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Children shouldn’t have to trade off their identity for a good education

It was 1998 and my nine-year old self was late for a phys-ed swimming class. I vividly remember walking into the swimming pool gates and being firmly reprimanded by the teacher who was furious at me. He then proceeded to call me a “kaffir” in front of the whole class. I had never heard the…

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Marikana: Moment of reckoning with whole extractive system

Marikana widows want BASF to admit its complicity as part of the platinum supply chain. The extractive sector in post-apartheid South Africa remains a hotbed of labour and environmental exploitation, with people still working underground in unsafe, unhealthy conditions.  Mining communities continue to be excluded from having a fair share of the wealth accumulated from…

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The Remember Khwezi protest has shone a spotlight on our society’s patriarchal nature

In the last chapter of The Kanga and the Kangaroo Court, author Mmatshilo Motsei starts her concluding remarks by quoting Sello wa Loate: [w]e need to re-evaluate our value system as a society. The highly competitive environment we have created and the resultant conflict and pressure on different sections of our society make post-apartheid black…

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