General

Transformation of South Africa needs high sense of consciousness for social justice for success

  The biggest and most immediate challenge government faced as it entered the democratic transition was the unacceptable high levels of poverty and inequality inherited from the apartheid government that still define the new South Africa today. The challenge was even complicated and compounded by the crushing high level of government debt that was sitting…

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Trump, CNN and the irony of media hysteria

The President of the United States, during a “campaign rally”, refers to a terror incident in Sweden which never took place. He bases his reference, and subsequently his policy approach, on a FoxNews interview with a fringe documentary filmmaker. The story of the Trump-fib hits the news cycle and goes around the world. Finally, CNN…

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Has humankind really “progressed”, in the Enlightenment sense of the word?

In philosophy, there is a saying, by Hegel, that the owl of Minerva only spreads its wings at dusk. Hence, when we take stock of our situation today, with the benefit of such hindsight, what do we perceive? Has humankind really “progressed”, in the Enlightenment sense of the word? In fact, does “progress” make any…

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Beyoncé: a Renaissance man – Part 2

Some two years back I found myself traipsing through Italy in search of the Renaissance and its origins. Rome. Milan. Florence. Pisa. I fondly remember wondering how is it that the fashion of 16th century Italy, had become canonised as the wellspring of universal aspiration. Today I sit here and wonder, how will the fashion…

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The black guy always dies first, and other problematic literary tropes

The phenomenon of black characters being the first to die was first identified in Hollywood horror movies. From the golden age of horror in the 1930s onwards, alert viewers have noticed the short shelf-life of black characters. In the first half of the twentieth century, black actors often had little name recognition in Hollywood, and…

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The resilience of a Somali community in Joburg

By Jennifer Sigamoney Globally, South Africa’s democracy is venerated and remains a symbol of hope for the rest of the continent. Consequently, however, to the initiation of true, representative egalitarianism in 1994, South Africa has attracted more asylum seekers than any other nation. The focus of this article is a small Somali community of political…

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SONA: It’s time to abandon the dream of state-led transformation 

This week the president of the republic will address us during the state of the nation speech in parliament. In all likelihood his speech will be interrupted by a noisy and semi-rational red beret brigade accusing the president of thievery, illegitimacy, of undermining the constitution and breaching his oath of office. This will all be…

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A South African link to Trump’s inner circle

People are trying to figure out Donald Trump’s real agenda. There are big clues in the people around him. Trump appointed Steve Bannon as his campaign manager last year and Bannon is now his chief political advisor and strategist. Bannon is a multi-talented (journalist, naval officer, investment banker and Hollywood producer) white nationalist Islamophobe who…

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Far more than a thriller writer

It is easy to misjudge a writer, particularly if the blurbs on the cover of his or her books proclaim something like: “Impossible to put down. Another mind-blowing story!” Or: “Wow…Blockbuster perfection. An exhilaratingly brainy thriller…” Not that these blurbs are inaccurate regarding the novels I have in mind; up to a certain point they…

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The pro-poor rhetoric of the ANC government has failed to translate into meaningful economic policy

In my recent Op-Ed in this column I raised a serious concern whether the ANC-led government has paid required attention and effort to effectively address the structural manifestations of the apartheid legacy in a systematic and vigorous way beyond the usual public rhetoric about the evils of the system and the often repeated promise of…

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