News/Politics

A brave, brave little boy

When I was a little girl, the thing I was most afraid of, more than anything, was something bad happening to my mother. Once, I answered the phone and heard a voice I thought was my mother shrieking “He’s hurting me! He’s hurting me!” It turned out that it was not her, it was a…

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The Remember Khwezi protest has shone a spotlight on our society’s patriarchal nature

In the last chapter of The Kanga and the Kangaroo Court, author Mmatshilo Motsei starts her concluding remarks by quoting Sello wa Loate: [w]e need to re-evaluate our value system as a society. The highly competitive environment we have created and the resultant conflict and pressure on different sections of our society make post-apartheid black…

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Why a coalition between the ANC and DA would be good for Johannesburg and both parties

Johannesburg is a very different beast to Cape Town. Bigger, more dense, constantly growing; it’s the economic heart of South Africa. Despite its faults, the local ANC government in Joburg has received mostly clean audits and managed to do okay given the massive challenges it faces in such a complex area. There is a lot…

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Rejecting postracialism: Whiteness, morality and decency

Beginning with the contention that most white people view racism conceptually as bad, evil or at least something that is undesirable to be associated with, it is disheartening to see so much support for reactionary #AllLivesMatter, #BlueLivesMatter and similar postracial rhetoric from ostensibly decent people. White America must seek to understand our own existence and its relation to the…

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Why I have decided to vote for a pro-poor political party

I have made my voting choice. Here is my thinking. Firstly, these are local elections and, as a result, no major policy can be tested. I am also not certain that this election, or even our next national elections, are going to lead to any substantial transformation no matter who we vote for. I do…

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Walk the talk, Obama: Help Africa get a permanent seat on the UN Security Council

I am currently in the United States as a 2016 Mandela Washington Fellow; President Obama’s initiative for emerging young African leaders. I have spent six weeks at Virginia Commonwealth University; learning and gaining valuable skills and I am excited to return to South Africa even more determined and inspired. We are currently in Washington and…

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The follies of humankind, through the eyes of a young girl

In this time of economic and ecological uncertainty, which has, tellingly, given rise to the philosophical genre of “extinction studies” (see http://thoughtleader.co.za/bertolivier/2014/06/30/human-extinction-its-not-just-science-fiction/), it may be wise to remind ourselves that the human folly which has given rise to the fraught state of the present, globally, is nothing new. Human history is littered with such follies,…

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Making sense of #ThisFlag, Zimbabwean dissent and South African solidarity

Blessed are the poor, in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Jesus. (Commas restored) . Jesus was as usual talking about solidarity: about how we join with others and, in spirit, feel the world, and suffering, the same as them. This is the kingdom of owning the other as self, the self as…

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Turning human suffering into refugee chic

There are currently more than 65-million refugees and displaced persons in the world. It is one of the biggest human rights crises of our time, and deserves as much media attention as possible. But what refugees don’t need is to have their plight reduced to a fashion statement. “Refugee chic.” On Friday, there was a…

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Perhaps we all just need to log off and have a good nap

I have news fatigue. That’s not a terribly bad place to be in, because it’s evidence of actually taking notice of the world around us, but it’s similarly distressing all at the same time. Glancing over the major news stories that have soaked up my eyeball attention in just the last month or two, I…

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