News/Politics

Wisdom includes the art of picking the battles one knows one can win

Well done, students! You have done to this ANC government and establishment what years of scandal and maladministration have not. It has taken notice. It is worried. It is addressing the cause of your discontent. There will be no fee increases next year. I applaud your courage and convictions. The wise thing to do would…

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It is not about Rhodes, outsourcing, fees…it is about defining a new society for all South Africans

By Vissého Adjiwanou It started as a “mood swing” from some black academics at UCT, questioning the lack of transformation within their institution and challenging the inadequate responses from the administration. In their statement and later engagement with UCT, they called for the dismantling of any institutional discrimination, the recognition of the contribution of black…

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#NationalShutDown: Lessons from 1989 Tiananmen Square

I watched the evening news bulletin reporting how this current incarnation of the #FeesMustFall movement had spread to Fort Hare. I watched Fort Hare students, like students at other campuses, burn all manner of property. But what was odd in all that burning at Fort Hare, was the students throwing toilet paper all over the…

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Dear Mr President, I was hoping to see you at the Union Buildings

The podium was ready and your police officers were there ready to protect you. I was told you would address us at 12 noon. Some of us were naïve enough to think that you would really come. We are always full of hope. Some of us stood by the fence doing a countdown for your…

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University VCs experience the epiphany of the pointy stick

It has taken a relatively small band of petulant students to highlight the fragility of President Jacob Zuma’s African National Congress government. A protest that should have been contained and defused instead has been allowed to smoulder and grow. The wannabe revolutionaries of the Economic Freedom Front and radical activist organisations have been quick to…

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If I was a student today…

I’m not a student, but I pay the university and residence fees for one and another one to come in a couple of years, so I know how much all that costs. As a self-employed professional in the top 1% of earners it is still a difficult burden. So I know the dynamics. I cannot…

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#FeesMustFall: You cannot ask women to be vocal in public and silent in private

There are many reactions to what is happening right now. There are feelings of annoyance, anger, feelings of injustice and indifference. The selection is an emotional buffet. But one thing no one can deny is that this is the stuff of legends. Many will remember, or make up, where they were during the epic #FeesMustFall…

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Bravo students: ‘The doors of learning and culture shall be opened’

The ongoing student protests across the country confirm, unambiguously, the failure of the neoliberal system in South Africa, which requires a hefty increase in student fees every year, given the fact that universities are now part of the invidious neoliberal economic system, instead of being state-funded public institutions. And don’t tell me that it is…

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We seemed like a leaderless country yesterday. Who will stand up?

I left my office opposite Parliament (I work at the Human Sciences Research Council in Plein Street) after I heard the first stun grenade. The first thing I thought about was Marikana. I couldn’t just stand by if students — many of whom I teach — were going to be hurt by police. I followed…

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One thing Wits can never be is on the wrong side of justice

By Mighti Jamie * These were my words to Adam Habib in January. They’re still relevant today. Dear Adam Habib One thing Wits can never be is a cold-blooded business, focusing only on the bottom line. One thing Wits can never be is a dream killer. One thing Wits can never be is on the…

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