News/Politics

Decolonising course content. Whatever does that mean?

Discussions around “curricula decolonisation” are notoriously unfruitful and unstructured. There are two principal reasons for this. The first is that these discussions occur in a jargon which is vague and imprecise. The second, leading on from the first, is that the subject matter under discussion inherits this vagueness and imprecision. One is tempted, then, to…

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US terror alert: SA must nurture its allies, not rebuff them

South Africa for a long time boxed beyond its weight in the international relations arena. No longer. It’s become the diplomatic ingénue on the block, fumbling and stumbling from one diplomatic blunder to another. After two decades of African National Congress ambiguity regarding SA’s role in the world, we are now outwitted, outfought and outclassed…

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Why cartoons are linked to human freedom

There is a very obvious reason why cartoons are inseparably linked to human freedom. And here I don’t mean the Walt Disney variety, or indeed any cartoon film, although they are clearly connected to “artistic freedom” insofar as one’s creativity sets the bounds for the imagination as source of the construction of such films. What…

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‘We haven’t failed, someone is deliberately making us fail’

President Jacob Zuma is using all the wiles of a spoilt child trying to get his parents to buy a coveted toy. Except that this particular desired bauble – a new presidential jet with all the bells-and-whistles – will cost around R4 billion. And that’s a price tag to be picked up not by affluent and…

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Why South Africa needs fresh ideas to make land reform a reality

Ben Cousins, University of the Western Cape What is going wrong in South Africa’s land reform programme, and how can its failings be addressed? In 22 years land reform has barely altered the agrarian structure of South Africa, and has had only minor effects on rural livelihoods. Partly unintentionally, partly by design, land reform has…

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Pollyanna throws in the towel against the university Taliban

Let’s chant a dirge for the chief executives of one of South Africa’s most besieged economic sectors. Just consider the challenges they face daily. They head financially precarious entities in a field where both the raw-material inputs and the finished goods are of declining quality. A number of them preside over plants that once produced…

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SA’s UN vote against press freedom NGO is a vote against diversity of perspectives

By Caroline James This week, South Africa was one of eight countries in the United Nations Committee on Non-Governmental Organisations that voted to deny the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) observer status at the United Nations (UN). South Africa voted against accreditation along with countries like China and Russia who are not known for their…

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Democratic agitation needs a different protest language

The report by Municipal IQ (May 11, 2016) on the trends in service-delivery protests in the country is indeed very disturbing. A worrying component of these protests is the increasing level of violence that is associated with these protests. What is even more worrying is the fact that the violence is mostly perpetrated by the…

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Why the traditional leadership bill will entrench corrupt, rural political atmosphere

At this very moment, government efforts to enact the Traditional and Khoisan Leadership Bill are advancing; it is up to civil society to stop this. The legislation would entrench power and further legitimacy to undemocratic structures in traditional leadership operating within an often violent and corrupt rural political atmosphere. Even if the bill were conducive…

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Zapiro, monkeys and red herrings

Editorial cartooning must be one of the most difficult jobs out there. Not only must the cartoonist be technically adept when it comes to caricature, he or she also has to find the humour in situations that often, on the surface, aren’t especially funny. Day in and day out, cartoonists have to generate ideas and…

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