News/Politics

#MabelJansen, as sober as a judge

By Sheena Jonker The idiom speaks not just of a lack of intoxication but of the clarity of mind that we associate with being a judge. We can also say that sobriety is about being solemn, which encompasses dignity, honesty, a sense of decorum and profound sincerity. So we get Judge Mabel Jansen and her…

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Mabel Jansen’s comments pathologise an entire people

Mabel Jansen’s comments rightly caused outrage this week. Unfortunately there have been a few that have come out in her defence (lingering in the comment section of articles and social media) after Justice Minister Michael Masutha made the decision to suspend her. I was utterly shocked at her pathologisation of an entire people. As a…

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The Ntokozo Qwabe Ashleigh Schultz affair: Notes for a screenplay

Antoinette put down her waiter’s tray filled with dirty plates from customer’s tables and softly murmured the words, “We will give tip when you return the land.” She stared at these words on the crumpled piece of paper in her hand and began to laugh. Out of the corner of her eye she saw the…

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Don’t trust people who say they’re not racist

There just aren’t any racists nowadays. I know, I was shocked too. It would seem to me that if you take to Facebook to call black people k*****s or monkeys, or believe that raping children is part of black culture, you are as racist as they come. But this accusation is categorically denied. White people…

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South Africans’ sneering antipathy to Trump is misplaced

The sneering antipathy and moral condescension of seemingly the entire South Africa towards Donald Trump, the Republican Party’s presumptive nominee for the United States presidency, makes me chuckle. We are, after all, the nation that elected Jacob Zuma – a man who is as morally dubious and certainly far less competent than Trump – to…

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The princess waitress and the dark forces

Myth and myth-making can be traced back to the origin of our species and is the archetypal language through which our spiritual and creative selves make sense of our world and fashion meaning. The mythic imaginary though, is not entirely free of religious or political bias. While certain archetypes are common to the collective human…

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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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