Tag Archives: apartheid

The TRC as biopolitical imperative (Part 2: The ‘Tumult Commission’)

In the previous post, I mentioned that Sitze (2013) argues that the TRC had its jurisprudential origins (or precedents) in “colonial sovereignty and governmentality”. I discussed how Sitze argues that the indemnity convention originated in the theory of parliamentary (political) sovereignty of Dicey’s English constitutional law. I then discussed how the indemnity convention, as an…

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The TRC as biopolitical imperative (Part 1: Indemnity)

Now that 20 years have passed since the TRC undertook the complex task of promoting national unity and reconciliation, it is an opportune moment to reflect on its legacy. In an as yet little known book, The Impossible Machine: a genealogy of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, published in 2013, Adam Sitze targets much…

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Zuma-Concourt saga: Constitutionalism (Episode IV)

The widespread use of the phrase “a victory of democracy”, when referring to the Constitutional Court Nkandla ruling, is a disservice to South Africa. Words have the power to shine light on a meaning. Words have the power to marginalise. The choice of the word democracy in this instance is not a trivial matter because…

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The leader we want after Zuma

President Jacob Zuma is dominating headlines and dinner conversations, sadly. Between calls for him to fall, calls for him to stand down and calls for him to step up and take responsibility, the president is either the most fighting fit or thick-skinned leader of a democracy anywhere — Humpty Dumpty seems glued to the seat…

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Black anger management

Many ugly and unfair things were done to blacks under apartheid. The miracle that some people do not believe happened in 1994 is that black people, generally, forgave whites for their sins. They chose to let bygones be bygones, release the hurt and trust that the gesture would significantly contribute to nation building and reconciliation….

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Fort Hare is not what it is used be

The celebration of University of Fort Hare’s 100th anniversary has, indeed, revealed historical revisionism to portray the university as a hot bed of revolutionaries. This is a predictable political revision as the desire is to create the profession that former students were trained and destined for revolutionary roles in society. But one ZK Matthews does…

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The particularity of race and the universality of being human: Derrida on Mandela

Judging by the seemingly never-ending spate of articles, debates, and to-and-fro accusations that reflect a veritable obsession with race in this country — an obsession one might have expected to abate somewhat at this point in time, almost 22 years after the demise of apartheid — it appears to me a timeous moment to return…

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What is the colour of South Africa’s soul?

In the movie 12 Years a Slave, Solomon Northup asks, “What difference is there in the colour of a soul?” Such a question will raise eyebrows and tempers in South Africa, where the word “colour” sends a rush of emotions flooding down to angry hands from polarising thoughts. We are a rainbow — but our…

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Blacks ‘portraying’ victimhood: Gwen Ngwenya’s tall (reckless) ask of a nation

Unfortunately I am about to do something that I’m not often a fan of doing, namely engage in debate on the internet. One thing I’ve learned about the online space is that it is where people often come to take a mental dump due to its accessibility. God bless us all if Twitter decides to…

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Thank you Penny

A preamble: just as Penny Sparrow does not speak for me, I do not speak for any of you. But I am hoping that some of you will at least listen, and think, and reflect. As a white South African, I’d like to say thank you to Penny Sparrow. Without her, we wouldn’t be having…

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