David Saks

Another round concluded in the Gaza dance of death

The following imagined scenario seems to me to sum up pretty accurately the latest round of hostilities between Hamas and Israel: imagine a man who drives a Mini and another who drives a large lorry – let’s call them Abdul and Avi. Now imagine that Abdul hates Avi – really hates him. One day, Abdul…

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Voter docility, racial resentment strangling SA democracy

With less than a week to go, the result of the US presidential election is too close to call. In the case of South Africa, you would have to go back all the way to the early 1950s to say the same thing. Ever since then, the results of elections in this country have been…

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Reconciliation at the Jewish Boer monument

Last week, I participated in an unveiling ceremony for a new monument in memory of 12 Jewish fighters who died serving on the Boer side in the Anglo-Boer War of 1899-1902. The monument is located near the Burgher Memorial on Platrand, a ridge bordering Ladysmith to the south-west, and was erected as a joint initiative…

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A dick too far?

Given how crudely offensive it was, the reaction to the Zapiro “dick” cartoon has been surprisingly muted. No doubt, this is in part due to everyone being “penised-out” in the wake of the Brett Murray affair. After all, what more is there to say on the subject? Another reason, perhaps, is that at least Murray’s…

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Is identifying with Nazism problematic?

As those who have been reading the Sunday Times over the past couple of weeks may know, St. John’s College, one of Johannesburg’s most prestigious private schools, was recently embarrassed by a mock Nazi demonstration conducted by some of its pupils at a school assembly. What happened was that for “Moustache Day”, one of the…

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How communists paid the price and capitalists scooped the pool in post-apartheid SA

When Mandela first met with Sol Kerzner it was not, as was the case with most of his post-release meetings with big-hitting capitalist exploiters, to solicit (or more accurately, quietly demand) a large donation for black upliftment projects. Instead, the purpose was purely political. This was mid-1990, a time when it was not at all…

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Pretoria or Tshwane?

To me, it’s a no-brainer. There was never a pre-existing place called ‘Tshwane’ that Pretoria replaced. Instead, an entirely new population centre came into being, in due course assuming city status. It was named ‘Pretoria’ by its founders, and that it was what was called for over 140 years before it was arbitrarily renamed Tshwane…

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My bruising encounter with the PC brigade

Every now and again, as a columnist for the SA Jewish Report, I drop a proverbial brick in a hornet’s nest and end up diving for cover. Thus it was a couple of weeks ago, when a column I wrote poking fun at a newly established Jewish women’s lobby group generated far less amusement and…

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Zuma’s privates and the black male sexual potency myth

Tom Sharpe’s comic novel Indecent Exposure mercilessly lampooning white racism in South Africa was predictably banned under the apartheid government. I managed to get my copy during a visit to Sun City, where such contraband was legally obtainable (since it fell within the boundaries of the ‘independent’ homeland of Bophuthatswana). In one scene, a distraught…

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Game of Thrones and the brutalisation of popular entertainment

Few would disagree that the hit fantasy-adventure TV series Game of Thrones is, from a purely aesthetic point of view, an outstanding achievement. Its production values are top notch and the acting and scripting are of a consistently high standard. Certainly, it is a yardstick by which the impressive advances made in television entertainment over…

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