News/Politics

Madiba’s tears

From promised land to pariah It was many years in the making In colony and forged capital And many lives for the taking Thirty years of progress Thirty years of peace Mountains and molehills And never-ending grief This one, not that one The quota game we play To balance the diversity To realign the pain…

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Inequality and violent protests in South Africa

In 2014 I wrote a piece for this site on the work of psychoanalyst, Paul Verhaeghe, specifically the book in which he writes about the link between inequality in a market-based society and health problems across a wide spectrum. In addition to stress and anxiety symptoms, Verhaeghe pointed to something confirmed by other researchers too,…

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These Gaza days

Dear Bibi You slaughter my people at your gate like dogs You deny their civility and call them terrorists You claim they are combatants on your blogs You hold up your soldiers as heroes for killing innocents You parade around like you’re not wholly corrupt You shout the odds on Iran like a expert pundit…

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Kingsolver’s narrative indictment of colonisation: The Poisonwood Bible

I have written about Barbara Kingsolver’s (and other figures’, such as Salman Rushdie’s) novelistic art here before and even referred to The Poisonwood Bible cursorily — but recently the effect of colonisation on the inhabitants of certain continents (in this case Africa) has occupied my attention afresh. Hence this post, specifically on Kingsolver’s masterpiece, The…

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Marx at 200: As relevant as ever

Today (5 May 2018) is the 200th anniversary of Karl Marx’s birth in the German city of Trier, and all over the world people are celebrating his contribution to our self-understanding through the political, economic and social theories he (sometimes with his friend and colleague, Friedrich Engels) penned during his lifetime. The anniversary celebrations are…

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We want a better quality

Finally it has happened that everyone is trying to hold public representatives to a high standard. Finally government, political parties, civil society and armchair critics are all on the same page. Without specifically mentioning anyone, let us be quite certain of the major features which have been presented: It’s about politicians not doing their jobs…

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KwaZulu-Natal Lamb Curry

With all this talk of Durban’s gravy train and details of the Durban Salute (a type of bribery), one wonders whether sufficient attention is being paid to the curry brigade that deems it normal for money to flow up and for problems to flow down. Without a doubt, Lamb curry is the most important culinary…

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Where’s my invite?

Like many people I have not been invited to Jacob Zuma’s forthcoming wedding. I also have not been invited to address the crowds gathering at Jacob Zuma’s court appearances. In general Jacob Zuma and I have been on the outs ever since he said, “We don’t want Winner Take All”. I could have forgiven him…

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On politicians without humour

In John Fowles’s novel, Daniel Martin (Triad Grafton, 1978), there is a wonderfully revealing passage as far as humourless politicians are concerned – the type that justifiably comprises the butt of comedians’ jokes. Dan and Jane (an old friend and one-time lover who accompanies him on a work-related trip to Egypt) are at a dinner-party…

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Julian Assange and injustice

Some time recently, someone sent me a WhatsApp message contrasting the political positions of Julian Assange of Wikileaks and Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook. Underneath photographs of these two gentlemen, respectively, they read as follows: “Hi, I’m Julian Assange. I give private information on corporations & gov’t to you for free and the media calls me…

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