Equality

Public historians, this is your moment!

In the past few weeks, statues of male historic figures in public places in South Africa have been splashed with poo and paint of all hues. It has become a veritable underground movement. Cecil Rhodes’ statue has been removed from the University of Cape Town, but around the country, George V, Louis Botha, General Fick,…

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Swaziland: External-led revolution needed

By Ntombenhle Khathwane On Sunday April 12, Swaziland will be marking the 42nd year since democracy ended after a brief five years through the decree passed by King Sobhuza in 1973 that concentrated power in the monarch and flung Swazis a few centuries back in terms of political and social development, basically back into a…

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Truth: Ruminations on a photograph

By Dr Thirusha Naidu TRUTH Ruminations on a photograph of a woman and her malnourished child at the Apartheid Museum Johannesburg, South Africa Standing amidst signs proclaiming her “Yesterday’s TRUTH” Pot-bellied, gasp-eyed child slung across her hip A white ’n black portrait against a brick wall Strewn, like gold dust onto mine-dumps, from early eGoli…

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I’m sick of statues

I don’t want to tap into the anger, the misunderstanding and the adolescent reasoning anymore. I don’t want to be caught up in the wildfire of people who are wilfully ignorant about our past, and I don’t want to jump on some bandwagon either. 1. This is not about a statue This isn’t just about…

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My ideal township school

By Lehlohonolo Israel Mofokeng There is no doubt there is a hive of township schools that continue to show signs of holistic excellence. By holistic excellence, I mean developing conscious learners who are not detached from the realities of their lives — learners who will engage with hegemonic structures, learners who will understand that their…

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Fighting patriarchy, one dress at a time

Last week, the latest incidence of parliamentary sexism occurred in the Mpumalanga Provincial Legislature. Reports noted that the DA’s deputy provincial leader, Jane Moloisi-Sithole, was called out by an ANC MP for allegedly dressing like a prostitute. The DA walked out when its leader, Anthony Benadie, was ordered from the Chamber by the Speaker who…

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Dear people with stupid gay questions

Over the holiest weekends of the year (holy for the four days of rest) I encountered questions that left me tired. From the age of about five or six I have been subject to such questions. Sometimes, they came from friends, sometimes from adults and sometimes these questions were not questions, they were rhetorical accusations…

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Terrorism or mental illness? Why race matters

When co-pilot Andreas Lubitz crashed the Germanwings plane, killing 149 people, “mental illness” was deployed as an explanation. If he wore a turban and had a beard, and if I were a betting man, I would put my money on the media labelling him a terrorist. Where would you put your money? Be honest. Have…

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Dying for a transplant

By Patricia Erasmus It is a lawyer’s worst nightmare — having to watch your client die. But this was the reality for our staff when an Ethiopian man was brought to us in the final stages of double renal failure. As he lay in the parking lot of our offices, disorientated, weak and struggling to…

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Beyond 2015: Setting an inclusive and pro-LGBTIQA development agenda

I recently read an interesting article titled “Why gay rights is a development issue in Africa, and aid agencies should speak up” by Hannah Stoddart. Stoddart, concerned with the very high rise in state-sanctioned homophobia in Africa, shows how homosexuality in some African countries is often accompanied by a life sentence or up to 20…

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