Tag Archives: Thabo Mbeki

The convenient democrats

To hear former Cabinet ministers from the salad days of the Thabo Mbeki presidency speaking of the “erosion of democracy” is as rich as a “Save the Angus Cow” campaign run by Ronald McDonald. It’s definitely legacy hour. How else could one explain the sheer size of ego that drives Mbeki-era mandarins (or should we…

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Racism perpetuated by reconciliation at UFS

Every time you read of yet another racist incident at the University of the Free State (UFS), you cannot avoid colliding with the despondency people feel as they become resigned to yet another Truth and Reconciliation Commission on the way. Every time you want to get angry, be outraged at racism, you are very quickly…

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We need a national development plan for the soul

By Russel Botman Close on 20 years after South Africa’s transition from apartheid to democracy through a negotiated political settlement, our country finds itself at a crossroads again. Progress in many areas has been commendable, but in others the pace of change has been far too slow. And in some areas things have actually deteriorated….

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Tribal identity vanishing fast

Recent debates on tribalism and other related matters have generated more heat than light. Agang SA leader Mamphela Ramphele has reportedly accused the government of sponsoring tribalism to divide the country. At an address to students at Unisa in April this year former president Thabo Mbeki uttered similar remarks that rang alarm bells on the…

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I must confess, I miss Thabo Mbeki

Today I found myself nostalgic for a man I had little appreciation for while he was still the president of our country. I found myself missing former president Thabo Mbeki. I was sitting at a table in Dime Todo lo que Sientes in Mexico City with a group of young idealists who, like me, have…

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Understanding the African Renaissance through rap music

This morning I found myself listening to one of my favourite rap albums of all time: Immortal Technique’s Revolutionary Volume 2. One track in particular, The 4th Branch of the Government, captured my mind. While it speaks of the racism of American media and the need of African-Americans to read, I found myself thinking of…

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I know why Mbeki won’t endorse black radio

I know why former president Thabo Mbeki was evasive when asked to endorse Power FM recently. The Renaissance man was, rightly, concerned about the role of black radio (sic) in not only speaking truth to power but disseminating enlightening information and knowledge that builds self-confidence and a spirit of self-determination among the previously disadvantaged. When…

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Cape Town and the Obamas

The hullabaloo around the award of the Freedom of the City to the Obamas (now accepted) reminds me of that remarkable day in September 2006 when then senator Barack Obama addressed a packed meeting at the Centre for the Book, organised and hosted by the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) and the US…

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Beware the boy who cries ‘Zulufication’

In Aesop’s fable The Boy Who Cried Wolf, a shepherd boy alone on a hillside tending to sheep called on people in a nearby village to help him chase away a wolf that was attacking his flock. There was no wolf of course. He was just doing what bored shepherd boys are tempted to do…

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Why Guy Scott might hate South Africa

By Neil Achary Guy Scott, who is vice-president of Zambia and, incidentally, a white Zambian, has ruffled a few feathers by saying that he hates South Africa. In an interview with The Guardian, although he seemed to imply that he likes South Africans on an individual basis, he dislikes South Africa for the same reason…

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