General

The particularity of race and the universality of being human: Derrida on Mandela

Judging by the seemingly never-ending spate of articles, debates, and to-and-fro accusations that reflect a veritable obsession with race in this country — an obsession one might have expected to abate somewhat at this point in time, almost 22 years after the demise of apartheid — it appears to me a timeous moment to return…

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Are Africa-China relations really a win-win situation?

By Zukiswa Mqolomba China’s Africa interface has received much public spotlight over the years. Public debate has been critical of whether China’s engagement translates into win-win benefits for Africa. South Africa’s left movement has gone as far as cautioning against “a new form of colonialism or imperialism”. As the world commemorates the 50th anniversary of…

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The battle for the heart and soul of the DA

Two out of three ain’t bad South Africans are continuously singing the same tune to the DA, to borrow from the artist Meatloaf “I want you, I need you, but there ain’t no way I’m ever gonna love you”. But unlike South Africans Meatloaf goes on to say, “but two out of three ain’t bad”….

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Marie Claire controversy shows just how vulnerable media interns are

The recent Twitter outcry over Marie Claire’s shocking R30-a-day stipend for their interns brings to light just how hostile the world of media and journalism can be to a young beginner. Though the fashion magazine was on the receiving end of criticism this week, it should be understood that their situation is merely par for…

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My memories of the automobile

I will never forget the smell of the seats in our “brand-new”, second-hand car. My parents’ purchase had been a hot topic for weeks and it was finally there, a dark green Renault waiting outside my school. Unaware that a few years later it would be driven over my toe, nothing could bring more joy…

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Fanon and the South African father

While there is an exciting movement, especially within neuropsychological disciplines, to highlight the contemporary value of Sigmund Freud’s notion of the unconscious mind, it is important not to dismiss the archaic Eurocentric societal tenants on which much of his work relies. However Freud’s psychosexual work need not be entirely derided on grounds of irrelevance. Particular…

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What I learned whilst slaughtering a cow

As soon as I had arrived from the Gauteng province (in time for lunch) and the excitement of my December homecoming now old news, I was given the itinerary for the day: “Mamela mfana, umnintsi umsebenzi ekumele siwenze ngelixeshana nikhoyo, ungekafiki umghidi.” (Listen young man, there is plenty of work to be done whilst you…

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Thank you Penny

A preamble: just as Penny Sparrow does not speak for me, I do not speak for any of you. But I am hoping that some of you will at least listen, and think, and reflect. As a white South African, I’d like to say thank you to Penny Sparrow. Without her, we wouldn’t be having…

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Yes, the beaches were packed but that was part of the joy

By Jerome September Going to the beach over the festive period was always something I looked forward to as a child. It was the highlight of a year that was often marked by great struggle. At the beach we could lose ourselves, we could play and stand in awe of the big dam with strong…

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Devil’s advocacy for decolonised curricula

Shouting fire in a crowded theatre may not always be accurate, but it will typically get one attention. Such is the analogue regarding those who bemoan the “whiteness” of university curricula. The terms used to diagnose the problem are frequently emotively charged and difficult to understand. If “the curricula” shall be Africanised then, one may…

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