News/Politics

Rhodes Fell

Rhodes tripped on the steps and fell Rhodes skid on a piece of soap in the shower and fell Rhodes slipped from the window of the tenth floor of Caledon Square and fell Rhodes accidentally broke his ribs and cracked his skull in his prison cell and fell Rhodes drowned in the shower and fell…

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Dinner with the president

I had dinner with the president last night. Don’t get me wrong. I wasn’t alone with him. There were about 350 other people eager to hear him speak and who had paid for the privilege, and I was one of those lucky enough to meet him and shake his hand. When I say “president” I…

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I’m sick of statues

I don’t want to tap into the anger, the misunderstanding and the adolescent reasoning anymore. I don’t want to be caught up in the wildfire of people who are wilfully ignorant about our past, and I don’t want to jump on some bandwagon either. 1. This is not about a statue This isn’t just about…

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Fighting patriarchy, one dress at a time

Last week, the latest incidence of parliamentary sexism occurred in the Mpumalanga Provincial Legislature. Reports noted that the DA’s deputy provincial leader, Jane Moloisi-Sithole, was called out by an ANC MP for allegedly dressing like a prostitute. The DA walked out when its leader, Anthony Benadie, was ordered from the Chamber by the Speaker who…

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50 shades of brown: Lessons on racism at UCT

By Dr Shikoh Gitau “Aunty don’t you mean beige?” the small voice interrupted. Her 12-year-old sister added: “You know if they were really white, they would be like this,” pointing at a blank sheet of paper. “And if we were black, we will be like that,” she said, pointing to the well-polished black ceramic glass…

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The problem with #RhodesMustFall

South Africa has been consumed with statues in recent weeks. Statues have become a symbol of all the racial conflict bubbling beneath the surface of the “rainbow nation”. All at once, we agree that we need to talk about race and the colonial and apartheid history but at the same time we are afraid that…

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Terrorism or mental illness? Why race matters

When co-pilot Andreas Lubitz crashed the Germanwings plane, killing 149 people, “mental illness” was deployed as an explanation. If he wore a turban and had a beard, and if I were a betting man, I would put my money on the media labelling him a terrorist. Where would you put your money? Be honest. Have…

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Waiting for the crap attack on Zuma’s statue

When the statue of President Jacob Zuma is eventually erected at the Union Buildings, carefully sited to avoid falling into the large shadow cast by that of Nelson Mandela, there will be joy and ululation throughout the land. For despite his manifest failings and a large bill still outstanding for home renovations, he is our…

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Beyond 2015: Setting an inclusive and pro-LGBTIQA development agenda

I recently read an interesting article titled “Why gay rights is a development issue in Africa, and aid agencies should speak up” by Hannah Stoddart. Stoddart, concerned with the very high rise in state-sanctioned homophobia in Africa, shows how homosexuality in some African countries is often accompanied by a life sentence or up to 20…

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Beware, the new statues

Dali Tambo’s struggle theme park self-proclaimed “the show business of history” will soon be an expensive blot on the landscape. But about such present-day bronzes our students have had, so far, little to say. Irrespective of the misgivings that some will have regarding Mr Tambo’s R600 million-R700 million boon most, one suspects, will have no fundamental objection…

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