Tag Archives: South Africa

So what exactly DID happen?

A thought for the day: When the First World War ground to a halt exactly 100 years ago, Germany was heavily penalised financially. Financial reparations to the Allies were set at 369-billion gold marks, equivalent to about 96 000 tons of gold, but after complaints that the payments were bankrupting a struggling nation the amount…

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Pandora’s box has opened…again!

Everyone knows the story, or myth, of Pandora (etymologically meaning ‘all-gifted’ or perhaps ‘all-giving’), who was ancient Greek mythology’s counterpart to Eve of the Old Testament — that is, the first woman created by the gods (out of earth, or clay), all of whom gave her a gift of some kind. Her notoriety derives from…

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The Place of Sara Baartman at UCT

The label “Hottentot Venus” continues to haunt our memory of Sara Baartman. This moniker, used in Jean Reaux’s posters to advertise the exhibit of Sara, may have been repudiated by renowned scholars such as Pumla Dineo Gqola, Zine Magubane, Yvette Abrahams, Patricia Hill Collins, Sander Gilman among others, but it has persisted as the lens…

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It is time

The time, in the brief recent history of our country, has come for our country to wade into a foreign conflict, choose a side and fight, using our military, for that side. The time has come for our foreign policy to match our constitutional values, rather than the conflicted and corrupt, reflexive “Friends With All”…

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Pauw’s revelations and democracy

One might wonder – as many South Africans probably do – why there have been, and probably will be, no consequences for those implicated by the revelations in Jacques Pauw’s recent book, The President’s Keepers (NB Publishers, 2017). And I don’t mean only in the light of his revelations (it’s still a bit early); I…

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The truth about Nkandla

Factually, all state presidents are being blackmailed. They are being threatened and extorted by their own people, their own party bosses, their own funders, their own supporters and their own handlers. Regardless of which country, regardless of which regime; all state presidents are being blackmailed. In comparison, prime ministers are merely besieged by those around…

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The fatal hermeneutic divide in South Africa

Many people are bound to have thought of Alan Paton’s novel, Cry the Beloved Country, in the wake of recent events in South Africa. And everyone who have thought of it as a suitable response to these events may be forgiven. But there’s a saying, that people get the government they deserve, and it is…

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Trump’s global gag rule puts safe abortion in jeopardy

In his first week as President of the United States of America, Donald Trump has demonstrated a callous disregard for women’s rights by reinstating and extending the so-called global gag rule, a policy which will prevent all organisations receiving US foreign aid for health from including abortion referrals or information within their programmes. Not only…

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Are South Africans really all capitalists at heart?

The South African news cycle often is awash with nationalist rhetoric from the emerging and vocal opposition, raging against the African National Congress. These quasi-socialists hold out an image of an economically liberated Southern Africa, a picture of Mzansi at peace on the land – their land. The capitalists too have a vision for South…

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Where is the wealth Malema wants to redistribute?

In a conversation about South Africa’s socio-economic malaise with a thoughtful sociologist from abroad, he asked the burning question that is shaping South African politics: “where is the wealth?” We talk often in South Africa about wealth redistribution, black economic empowerment and socio-economic rights. Our constitution at the outset sketches a socially just society as…

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