General

“Hair Rules”

by Victoria J. Collis-Buthelezi On Tuesday last I attended a meeting at which a well-meaning colleague seemingly complimented me on my hair. It was in a two-day old flat-twistout and as such looked somewhat more like a stretched ‘fro. “I like your hair,” he began. Not bad, I thought, then came, “ … especially in…

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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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Howard College law library: More than just a site of learning

James Rycroft The devastation of the Howard College law library has kicked me in the stomach. Not just because I was one of the many law students who used the space as so much more than a library, but also because of why and how that space came into being. My dad was the Dean…

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Will “Blockadia” help, or “Is Earth F**ked”?

One of the most revealing threads running through Canadian investigative journalist and tireless anti-capitalism activist, Naomi Klein’s rivetting book, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate (Alfred A. Knopf, 2014), concerns what she terms the “new climate warriors”, or in one word, “Blockadia”. This unlikely-sounding word names a movement which has arisen in the shape…

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Barbarism should not triumph over civilisation

Smanga Sethene Prophet Muhammad (saw), had this to say when he was asked about the importance of acquisition of knowledge by men and women who had the honour of his blessed company and time: “Acquire knowledge. It enables its possessor to distinguish right from wrong; it lightens the way to heaven; it is our friend…

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What changes in SA mean for business in the medium-term

Predicting the future is impossible. Forecasting plausible alternative scenarios is possible and can be useful in fostering strategic foresight. Using the so-called “three-horizons model”, South Africa can be seen to be moving from a status quo (horizon 1) marked by; negotiated settlement, ANC hegemony, post-Apartheid economic resurgence and consolidation and rainbow optimism, to a new…

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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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People of colour carry the burden of environmental racism in a post-racial era

Videos depicting the senseless murders of unarmed people of colour have given birth to a new social movement, #BlackLivesMatter, while bringing to light a reality incomprehensible to white communities: the lives of people of colour have systemically been deemed disposable. To collectively realise the inherent value of black life we must think locally and globally,…

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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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