Kameel Premhid

Redressing Rhodes’ legacy

When Rhodes fell in South Africa it reverberated globally. His statue, gazing over a changed country, is a metaphor for modern-day South Africa. Even though the country’s transition was relatively bloodless, its change mostly peaceful, and its black majority theoretically free; the Rainbow Nation’s democratic achievements are fiercely contested. The inherited systemic inequality, made worse…

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Explaining the DA’s shadow cabinet reshuffle

Last week, DA chief whip John Steenhuisen announced small changes to the DA’s shadow cabinet. Most notably senior DA MP, and Wilmot James’ unsuccessful leadership campaign manager, David Maynier, was moved from defence to finance; while newcomer, Michael Cardo, was moved to economic development. Gareth van Onselen, a fierce critic of incumbent DA leader Mmusi…

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The real problem with the DA’s Values Charter

The opportunity for a genuine debate about liberalism in South Africa, started by the DA’s adoption of its Values Charter, is likely to be squandered. In two separate pieces, MPs Marius Redelinghuys and Gavin Davis, both supporters of new DA Leader Mmusi Maimane, demonstrate the real reason for their staunch defence of the Charter. It…

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Maimane and the Constitution

In the most direct test of Mmusi Maimane’s understanding of constitutionalism and liberty, the DA’s heir-presumptive has been found wanting. Maimane is widely reported to have stated that he would allow issues like the death penalty and gay rights to be determined by the vote. Understandably, this has caused much upset, among Maimane’s supporters particularly….

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Richard Calland and the Maimane moment

Richard Calland’s latest article (“Maimane may engineer Zuma’s exit”) is a master class in fanciful political analysis. Even if published in the opinion section of the Mail & Guardian, its grasp on reality makes it more suited to fiction than a newspaper. His belief that the next leader of the DA would be able, or…

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Was Helen Zille done in by her race obsession?

Helen Zille’s shock resignation as leader of South Africa’s Democratic Alliance (DA) has triggered intense speculation as to who will replace her. Given the party’s federal congress is less than a month away, palace intrigue dominates all discussion. However, most suggest that Mmusi Maimane, the party’s parliamentary leader, is the hot favourite to win. Zille’s…

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Fighting patriarchy, one dress at a time

Last week, the latest incidence of parliamentary sexism occurred in the Mpumalanga Provincial Legislature. Reports noted that the DA’s deputy provincial leader, Jane Moloisi-Sithole, was called out by an ANC MP for allegedly dressing like a prostitute. The DA walked out when its leader, Anthony Benadie, was ordered from the Chamber by the Speaker who…

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Revisiting the Rhodes statue

The recent announcement by the University of Cape Town (UCT) that the statue of Cecil John Rhodes would be taken down has, largely, been welcomed. Although I am opposed to this decision, I am alarmed by the attitude displayed by both sides during this debacle. I have swung between extremes depending on how offensive or…

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Airbrushing history: Debating Rhodes’ legacy

As the debate raged in Cape Town over whether to remove the statue of British imperialist Cecil John Rhodes, I found myself in a grand house named after him some 6 000 miles away. Rhodes House is the quaint Oxford-based headquarters of the Rhodes scholarships. Named for and funded by Rhodes, the scholarships are awarded annually…

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Doctor who? You can’t fake leadership

Another week has passed and two more prominent South Africans have been accused of faking their academic credentials. This time, however, the ignominy is particularly cringe-worthy: our ambassador in Washington, Mninwa Mahlangu, and his counterpart in Tokyo, Mohau Pheko, have reportedly been caught out for doctoring their CVs. That they remain in their posts is…

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