News/Politics

The real sports transformation project lies not at national level

As a little boy, I witnessed my first live sports encounter from the veranda of our humble home in Sada (Hewu). Across the road, and a further 50 or so metres from there, was the rugby field that was home to the Wallabies Rugby Club. The field was hard – pure ground – without a…

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On Workers’ Day, it’s Anarchy vs Chaos

Certain common word usages literally get my blood boiling. Okay, that one was on purpose. Slate’s great podcast, Lexicon Valley, discusses all kinds of language-related topics, like the evolution of swearing, the etymology of the word “dude”, how children acquire language. They make it a principle to stay away from superior judgments on so-called incorrect…

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Live by the legal sword, die by it

Recourse to the courts is often the first refuge of the scoundrel with deep pockets. A deliberately protracted judicial process can be used by the wealthy to delay, to avoid, to obfuscate, and to bully their adversaries into submission. It’s an approach that has worked well for various South African rogues, embezzlers, crooks and unsavoury…

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BASF, Lonmin and how the Marikana battle for justice is taken to Germany

BASF is a huge corporate that gives Lonmin a lot of business. Today, April 29, in Germany they are gathered for their annual shareholder meeting. Along with the usual shareholders who attend these meetings there’ll be some less familiar faces, two of the women made widows by the Marikana massacre. Thirty-four miners brutally gunned down…

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How to get government services to step up their game

By Trevor Watkins Everyone knows we have a great Constitution. Hardly anyone knows what it contains, particularly most “civil” servants. How could this be changed? Most people are really only interested in things that affect them directly – saving money, saving time, cool things, interesting experiences. Tell them that Teazers can stay open because it…

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Outlaw speech: Contesting sexual coercion on campus

To law falls the privilege of demarcating and controlling a particular territory as its own. That which it cannot, or will not, claim is pushed beyond its borders to become that which is without law – or outlaw. This is one way to think about the release of a list of men accused of rape…

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Why we need a politics of ‘spirit’ not consumption

Most people reading this are probably wondering what a “politics of spirit” could possibly mean. After all, it seems like an oxymoron to juxtapose “politics” and “spirit”. I would agree with that, at first sight anyway. Until you read Bernard Stiegler’s transfixing book, The Re-Enchancement of the World, subtitled: The Value of Spirit against Industrial…

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While the ANC factions manoeuvre, SA drifts in limbo

A national crisis is always best resolved quickly. Investors and voters both react negatively to political paralysis and institutional dysfunction. And since protracted uncertainty begets instability, it’s mostly better to find a quick patch and keep the momentum going than it is to embark on an agonising and usually elusive search for the “best” solution….

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Psychological scars have yet to heal for victims of Kenya’s election violence

By Sitawa Wafula Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta held a ceremony last weekend to celebrate the International Criminal Court (ICC) abandoning its case against his deputy William Ruto (and journalist Joshua Arap Sang) for orchestrating the violence after their disputed election of 2007. The prosecutor dropped similar charges against Kenyatta himself two years ago, alleging that…

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The TRC as biopolitical imperative (Part 2: The ‘Tumult Commission’)

In the previous post, I mentioned that Sitze (2013) argues that the TRC had its jurisprudential origins (or precedents) in “colonial sovereignty and governmentality”. I discussed how Sitze argues that the indemnity convention originated in the theory of parliamentary (political) sovereignty of Dicey’s English constitutional law. I then discussed how the indemnity convention, as an…

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