News/Politics

Selfless leadership could fix South Africa

The #FeesMustFall movement is a dress rehearsal for the revolution South Africa will face unless we fix our socio-economic conundrum of inequality, poverty and unemployment. This will require leadership! It will require “bridge builders” who are not beholden to vested interests and can lead for the common good. It will require technical skill to empower…

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#Fallist culture: The emergence of African fascist nationalism

On how notions of pan-Africanist identity, post-apartheid liberation ideology and demographics are coalescing to give rise to African fascist nationalism Across Africa we’ve witnessed the worst of political permutations as she vaunted herself out from under colonial exploitation. In many instances pseudo-democracy was achieved as a facade  for a new black capitalist elite that mobilised the…

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What most South Africans don’t know, but can probably guess

The book by R.W. Johnson that I recently referred to, namely, How Long Will South Africa Survive? – The Looming Crisis (Jonathan Ball, 2015), is giving a lot of people nightmares, I’ll bet. Not only because of the unsustainable cost of the inflated public service, but for a lot of reasons, all set out in…

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Waging peace: A human undertaking

“You and I are simple social by-products,” said Vusi as we engaged in a heated discussion over the weekend. A younger me would have tried to disagree by presenting examples of human exceptionalism. But the week before had been the best mirror to stare at myself and relate to his words. Despite the distance and…

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News media should decolonise

Journalists Adrian Basson and Mohammed Jameel Abdulla offer important insights into the difficulty of working as a journalist in volatile contexts where protesters, private security and the police may harass, threaten or assault journalists. Abdulla speaks to key themes we touch on in our Media Studies lectures at UCT. I think that his account of…

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Violence will not do it

Almost three weeks ago, Americans commemorated the fifteenth anniversary of the event that has had a decisive impact on global politics ever since: 9/11. Three years later, in 2004, Judith Butler published a book entitled Precarious life: the powers of mourning and violence. I didn’t read this book at the time of its publication. The…

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We can fund higher education without it being free

For some time now, I have been concerned with how tertiary education is funded in South Africa and called for the matter to be reviewed with urgency on numerous occasions as we were sitting on a ticking time bomb. It seems that bomb may have exploded.   Having said that, this isn’t a simple challenge…

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Heritage Day: What’s wrong with this picture?

I have a love-hate relationship with Heritage Day. Beyond the warm and fuzzy feelings of seeing people in different and beautiful outfits representing their heritage — our diversity as the rainbow nation — it’s also a point of tension and possibly pain. In the wake of a cultural appropriation incident a few months ago, Heritage…

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Swazi court strikes the balance between protecting freedom of expression and national security

Last Friday, the Swaziland High Court handed down a significant judgment on the rights to freedom of expression in the context of the protection of national security. The court struck down a number of provisions in the Sedition and Subversive Activities and Suppression of Terrorism Acts on the grounds that they unjustifiably limited the rights…

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The unbelievable cost of South Africa’s bloated public sector

South Africa would be significantly more economically viable if it did not have to carry a civil service sector that far exceeds the country’s needs in numerical terms. This is one of the many things one learns from R.W. Johnson’s candid, if sometimes completely disconcerting recent book, How Long Will South Africa Survive? The Looming…

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