News/Politics

The national question in South Africa

It is not easy to ignore the national question in South Africa, particularly presently, both in the context of 20 years of democracy and also given the troubling discourse by certain seemingly regressive people and or institutions. It is also hard to overlook this paramount issue of the national question when one observes the socio-economic…

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Memory and moving forward: #RhodesMustFall is not a shitty argument

If you do not like something, throw poop at it. This was the thinking of some protestors who called for the removal of the Rhodes statue from the University of Cape Town campus citing that the continued presence of the statue was an ode to the white dominance of the past. The calls for the…

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#RhodesSoWhite and the disappointing lack of unity

On Tuesday, this post appeared concerning race on the Rhodes University SRC Facebook page: The post was presumably inspired by the recent issues surrounding UCT and the statue of Cecil John Rhodes, as well as the calls to change the name of Rhodes University. The post gathered hundreds of comments of those either militantly in…

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The Rhodes statue, a swastika and so much offence

Yesterday, after a week of protesting at the University of Cape Town, anti-Rhodes statue activists placed swastikas and photographs of Adolf Hitler on buildings at the university. They claimed (after the fact, it must be noted) that these posters were put up to conscientise students to the offence that the statue of Rhodes represents. One…

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Rhodes University needs a new name

By Welcome Mandla Lishivha The recent incident at the University of Cape Town with students protesting to have the statue of Cecil John Rhodes removed from their campus has sparked debates among Rhodes University students. The discussion about changing the university’s name has resurfaced, at least among students, and the university can’t ignore this discussion…

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What’s with the heavy-handed crackdown on free speech in Swaziland?

By Caroline James Remembering Thulani Maseko and Bheki Makhubu — one year on… Can you remember what you were doing 365 days ago? It was the day after St Patrick’s Day, so that might jog some memories, but for most of us, it was just another day. For Thulani Maseko, Bheki Makhubu and their families,…

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Airbrushing history: Debating Rhodes’ legacy

As the debate raged in Cape Town over whether to remove the statue of British imperialist Cecil John Rhodes, I found myself in a grand house named after him some 6 000 miles away. Rhodes House is the quaint Oxford-based headquarters of the Rhodes scholarships. Named for and funded by Rhodes, the scholarships are awarded annually…

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Becoming a man…and losing something on the way

By Olga Bialostocka As South Africa celebrates the first, successful penis transplant in the world, with much-deserved public awe, the question we should ask is why there’s a demand for this sort of specialist treatment. The results of the medical efforts of Stellenbosch University surgeons should be praised but the reasons why young men lose…

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Simone Gbagbo: International justice v national justice

By Angela Mudukuti Is justice for egregious international crimes best served at the national domestic level or at the International Criminal Court (ICC)? The March 9 2015 domestic conviction and sentencing of Ivory Coast’s former first lady, Simone Gbagbo, has raised this and other important questions. Wanted by the ICC for her role in the…

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Is there anybody there, beneath the trolling shit?

In 2014 I had a troll who wouldn’t leave me alone. He wrote hundreds of words about me without having ever met me. This troll painted a distorted picture of who I was, while hiding behind the safe anonymity of a non-descript picture and made-up name. He responded to my writing with outrage, and people…

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