Tag Archives: democracy

The sad state of our nation

There is a “thing” in the air. It’s not quite fear, not quite anxiety, not quite hopelessness, a tension, a deep crack in our society which is threatening to shift the ground we walk on together, separately. We can no longer afford to carry on living side by side, barely able to look at each…

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The real cause of our constitutional crisis

By Ian Dewar At the end of the explanatory memorandum to the fully amended Constitution on the info.gov.za website our Constitution is described thus: “This Constitution therefore represents the collective wisdom of the South African people and has been arrived at by general agreement.” Now, nearly sixteen years since its promulgation, there is little evidence…

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Please, no God: not in our courts, not in Parliament, not in government

One of the great ironies of organised religions is that their adherents can only live in peace within a secular state. Those states that embrace a faith are usually at war with themselves or at war with others. Where governments adopt religion, they tend to corrupt and pervert that religion until it becomes something almost…

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The ANC’s “second transition”: promise, threat or propaganda?

1 The chain-reaction set off by the release of the ANC policy discussion documents last week, the foundation course for the party’s “second transition”, was to be expected. Headlines and tweets speak of “mining grabs”, “resource nationalism”, a “full scale attack” on the constitution, and the “path to a failed state”. Some say it is…

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Malema is out but his message is the in thing

I was at Mbare township’s netball complex on Saturday April 3 2010 for ANC Youth League president Julius Malema’s rally. Mbare is Zimbabwe’s oldest high-density suburb and is also one of the areas that suffered tremendously from the Robert Mugabe regime’s shameful Operation Murambatsvina or Operation Get Rid of Filth, which left thousands of Zimbabweans…

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The unions: For whom do they speak?

When it comes to the Tripartite Alliance, Oscar Wilde’s observation that the proper basis for a marriage is a mutual misunderstanding seems rather apt. ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe has himself used the matrimonial metaphor. When Zuma invites the unions to join the national executive council (as he did this past week), he is extending…

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Enough about race, let’s talk about class

If truth be told, black people are not interested in the confessions of white people who suffer with guilt from the sins of colonialism and apartheid. In the 21st century where both colonialism and apartheid have – depending on how you look at things – been defeated, we don’t want to know of people who…

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An apartheid beneficiary’s guide to the budget

Who is an apartheid beneficiary? Anyone who was classified “white” under apartheid benefited from the system. Do we include their children almost two decades after apartheid was officially abolished? The answer must be yes. It is the moral stance. (German youth were faced with a similar dilemma. It took time. The first generation after World…

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Courting disaster: Is there a con in Constitution?

No head of state, whether they’re a monarch, an elected president or the ruler of a party in office, can be happy seeing their decisions made null and void or the laws they pass overturned by some other authority. In his 2010 State of the Union address, President Obama said, “With all due deference to…

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Occupy Tshwane: behold the bourgeois revolution

You might think an ‘Occupy Movement’ would find fertile ground in a land as brutally unequal as South Africa, not to mention an economy virtually hostage to monopoly capital. Yet Occupy is primarily driven by an educated, salaried middle class, which has now found itself rapidly sinking into either economic ruin or, horror of horrors,…

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