Alison Tilley

A pleasure to visit this library

So, you are all feeling a little glum, it seems. Between the Zimbabwe elections turning into a farce, our president denying that he said there wasn’t a crisis, the Scorpions being sent packing with their collective tails between their legs, food and fuel prices going up, the interest rate going up, and the general lack…

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Sex, school and why it’s all pear-shaped

Well, call me Mother Grundy, but I disapprove of sex at school. The report of the South African Human Rights Commission on school-based violence has me very worried. And well done to the commission, by the way, for keeping an eye on this particular issue. The idea of school being a hotbed of violent sexual…

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Minister loses children

“Where they are going we don’t know,” says the minister of education about the kids in grades 10, 11 and 12 missing from school. She lost them? Seriously? She should have a chat with the minister of finance. He knows why those kids are not in school. Many 14- to 17-year-olds are not school-goers precisely…

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Racists, Eskom and why I don’t want to put the boot in

The wave of racist comments around Eskom and its — and by extension the government’s — incapacity to manage things has abated a little in my life. I liked the timing of one person’s comment — with the news of the blackouts, and Kenya’s troubles, someone turned to me and exclaimed about Africa’s inability to…

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Eskom — it’s the information, stupid!

I am quite unable to see why some of Eskom’s computer geeks have not been able to solve at least one part of the energy crisis. Everyone keeps complaining that they don’t know when the power is going to go down, and that Eskom’s website is very unclear. Why not simply put a map of…

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Don’t fire Pandor, fire some teachers

Although in general I love her blogs, firing Naledi Pandor, as Charlene Smith suggests, is really not going to help the desperate state of South African schools. Firing teachers, however, might. And there is precedent for it. (more…)

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The police, Mr Fivaz and my mother’s crime wave

I am afraid the mayor of Cape Town is not alone in feeling the South African Police Service is a bit … shall we say, fantastically incapable? Unbelievably incompetent? Perhaps you feel I go too far. I do feel I have been pushed over the edge. It wasn’t the housebreaking and theft of virtually all…

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Rape and the African Peer-Review Mechanism

I know the African Peer-Review Mechanism Country Report is not everyone’s idea of a good read. So let me point you to the interesting bit. It comes right at the end, on page 376 of the copy that was sent to me in the post. The report cites the rape statistics from the South African…

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The Mbeki biography — the good one

I have just put down of Mark Gevisser’s Thabo Mbeki: The Dream Deferred and I have to say I am disappointed, but only because the end came too soon — I thought I had at least a chapter to go, but in fact the pages under my fingers were the 90-odd pages of footnotes, bibliography…

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They really are watching you

You are right, they are watching you. I’m somewhat paranoid — who isn’t? But here’s a chilling little tale. You are on your way into the UK from Europe. You go through immigration. You get pulled aside. The official has a simple question: Why did you go to a particular Palestinian restaurant in London two…

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