General

A TRC for everyman?

It is happening. Last night in a church in Parktown North, three white Afrikaans men tried to explain how it feels to be white to an audience of almost-exclusively black South Africans. The previous night, in a church in Pretoria, three black men opened up to what it was like to be black, and what…

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Of maids and madams: The case for domestic workers

Two weeks ago News24, in partnership with Code4SA, published a tool to calculate a reasonable wage to pay a domestic worker in South Africa. Based on data submitted by users, the news site found that on average a domestic worker in the Western Cape is paid R188.50 a shift, the highest when compared to other…

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How to transform the Boks…

The first time I heard of the Springboks was in 1993. My earliest recollection of this national brand was the lost (0-1) home series against the French. The only thing I recall from this was the heavy scar on the face of the Les Blues’ captain, Jean-Francois Tordo, giving the thumbs up as he left…

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My life is not my own – purpose through the lens of a bullet hole

By Themba Dlamini It is Thursday, September 17 2015, the night of my daughter’s 18-month birthday. I have just arrived at OR Tambo International Airport from a successful speaking engagement in Cape Town. On my way home from the airport I stop at a traffic light and my window is aggressively mowed down by a…

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The pleasure of mountains

We walk past the iconic bear at the entrance to the Seoroksan National Park near Sokcho, South Korea, towards the diverging forested paths beckoning lovers of mountains. Each one of these takes one to a specific trail where one can indulge your love of mountains in various ways. Some meander along the side of a…

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The state of play in the al-Bashir saga

By Angela Mudukuti On September 16, the North Gauteng High Court denied the South African government leave to appeal in the case pertaining to Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir. Al-Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity, genocide, and war crimes. After a United Nations (UN) Security Council referral of the…

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What can we expect beyond the human?

The 7th Beyond Humanism Conference, which has just come to an end in Seoul, Korea, where delegates met at the Ewha Women’s University, was … well, more than interesting. It was fascinating in many ways, sometimes in a rather abject, almost horrifying manner. How would you respond to someone world famous, if not notorious, called…

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It’s never too late to learn another South African language

Two months ago I decided to learn to speak isiXhosa. This is a big thing for a 53-year-old — some might say impossible. Others might say it is unnecessary. They might be right in strictly practical terms. I don’t need to speak isiXhosa. Very, very seldom do I have to communicate with someone who speaks…

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The more things change, the more they stay the same: The curious case of black women and queer life at UCT

By Zethu Matebeni The last few months have stimulated long overdue conversations and action in higher education institutions in South Africa. Rhodes Must Fall, over and over again. The concrete structure may be gone from the steps of the UCT upper campus, but its shadow remains — blocking the same path that leads to possible…

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Scotland 5. Donald Trump 0. What price America?

Author and humourist PG Wodehouse once wrote that “it is never difficult to distinguish between a Scotsman with a grievance and a ray of sunshine”. He was absolutely right when it came to American presidential hopeful and property mogul Donald Trump’s attempts to insinuate himself into the Scottish culture with his £750 million (R15.9 billion) golf estate…

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