Tag Archives: democracy

South Africans should stop thinking in terms of race

It was with a heavy heart that I read the news, first, of Herman Mashaba’s resignation from the position of mayor of Johannesburg and from the Democratic Alliance (DA), and soon afterwards of that of both Mmusi Maimane (leader) and Athol Trollip (chairman) from their respective leadership positions in the DA, and from the party…

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‘Disgusting, fascist, racist Donald Trump’

The events of the last week in what is supposed to be the ‘greatest democracy’ on the planet have been very disturbing, to say the least – perhaps not for most people, who may not really care about the United States of America, but for me, who spent at least 6 years of my life…

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People are not as free as they think they are

Some (older) people may recall the 1983 Warner Brothers mockumentary, Zelig, written by, and starring Woody Allen, together with Mia Farrow as the psychiatrist who treats him for his strange disorder. Lately I have been thinking a lot about this classic portrayal of conformism on the part of a man who manifested his adaptation to…

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Why Americans should vote Democratic in the mid-term elections tomorrow

The American midterm elections – halfway through the American president’s term, where voters decide on their representatives in the two houses of American ‘democratic’ government, Congress and the Senate (as well as on some state governors) – take place tomorrow, on 6 November 2018, and all indications are that these will be the most significant…

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Pauw’s revelations and democracy

One might wonder – as many South Africans probably do – why there have been, and probably will be, no consequences for those implicated by the revelations in Jacques Pauw’s recent book, The President’s Keepers (NB Publishers, 2017). And I don’t mean only in the light of his revelations (it’s still a bit early); I…

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Combine the Chapter 9s? How about some time?

Yesterday (Tuesday) I noticed a call from Parliament’s website to comment on the Feasibility of Establishing a Single Human Rights Body. The call notes that in 2006, Parliament appointed an Ad Hoc Committee to undertake a Review of Chapter Nine and Associated Institutions. One of the key recommendations of the Ad Hoc Committee was the…

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Are South Africans really all capitalists at heart?

The South African news cycle often is awash with nationalist rhetoric from the emerging and vocal opposition, raging against the African National Congress. These quasi-socialists hold out an image of an economically liberated Southern Africa, a picture of Mzansi at peace on the land – their land. The capitalists too have a vision for South…

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Where is the wealth Malema wants to redistribute?

In a conversation about South Africa’s socio-economic malaise with a thoughtful sociologist from abroad, he asked the burning question that is shaping South African politics: “where is the wealth?” We talk often in South Africa about wealth redistribution, black economic empowerment and socio-economic rights. Our constitution at the outset sketches a socially just society as…

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Has the time for ‘talks about talks’ come in SA?

The student protests of the last year are reminiscent of the 1976 student uprisings. Those protests were the precursor to a political change in South Africa less than a decade later. When young, educated “born free” South Africans express anger and impatience it’s time to pay attention. They have shown they want action. They want…

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Open letter to Jeff Radebe, #FeesMustFall students and vice-chancellors

Minister Jeff Radebe you are heading up the ministerial task team to resolve the crisis on our university campuses. Good, thank you. This is a step in the right direction. Students and champions of #FeesMustFall, you have taken up the challenge of agitating for a fundamental change in the future prospects of your generation of…

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