Posted inGeneral

The worst of South Africa – and the best

The traumatic events of the past few weeks have revealed South Africans at its worst. An orgy of rage, cruelty and merciless hatred has descended on our society, reminiscent of the worst excesses of the country’s painful transition to democracy in the early years of the last decade. People are asking, and rightly, what kind […]

Posted inGeneral

Time to stop wallowing in self-pity

What Jews and Afrikaners have in common, a son of a leading anti-apartheid activist once said to me, is that they will never let you forget about their past suffering. He could say this, being himself part Jewish and part Afrikaans. In reality, though, it is true of virtually everyone. Whereas contrition and self-criticism do […]

Posted inGeneral

Treasuring our heritage will bring us together

Viewing the grave of the Xhosa chief Ngqika a few years ago affected me deeply, but not in the way I expected. Nestling in the foothills of the Amatolas on the site of Ngqika’s “Great Place”, it was once regarded as semi–sacred by the Xhosa, a shrine that became the focus of their national yearnings. […]

Posted inSport

Rewriting the record books

Not even the passage of 27 years and two World Cup victories have been enough to exorcise the horror of that moment. 16-3 down at half-time in the deciding Test of the 1981 New Zealand tour, the Boks had miraculously fought back to level the scores at 22-all, with only injury-time left. But referee Clive […]