Posted inEqualityNews/Politics

Beyond Trevor Noah and Mandela’s rainbow: Towards a politics of empathy

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I’ve been thinking about Trevor Noah’s op-ed in the New York Times, and its angry critiques, since the Day of Reconciliation in South Africa on December 16. Reconciliation is a thorny topic in our moody democracy, a reminder that the road to postcolonial hell is paved with good intentions. If you missed it, Noah argued […]

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Self-serving black leaders: why the masses are “forgotten”

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By Sebenzile Nkosi Africans have fought long and hard for independence from colonial rule. Leaders of the struggle have been hailed for their self-sacrifice, many of whom have been prepared to pay the ultimate price of death at the hands of their colonisers and allies, for the course. A large part of this struggle, not […]

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Stop invoking Mandela’s legacy to advocate respectability

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Recently, I saw a Facebook post about an event where the keynote speech was titled “What would Mandela do?” The speech, unsurprisingly, criticised the recent student protests. For the love of intellectual discourse, can we please retire this phrase? Don’t misunderstand me. I have nothing but respect and admiration — and gratitude — for Nelson […]

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Saying farewell to a legend

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It is difficult to come to terms with the news that the world’s most revered statesman and human-rights activist is gone. As is so often said, he now belongs to the ages. Although an old man, he seemed immortal. But Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was a man, a man whose dedication to the struggle against apartheid […]

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The Mandela cult

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“Happy is the country that has no history” is a proverb attributed to the French philosopher Montesquieu. In 1994, South Africa — up until then a synonym for backwardness and brutality — was reborn as a democracy. A new epoch dawned. A promised land beckoned. And the man who had come to embody that hope […]

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Mandela: Let’s have less spin doctor and more medical doctor

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The African National Congress probably couldn’t care less about the chatter that Nelson Mandela is now a medical zombie, alive but not living. It is widely speculated on social networks that the 95-year-old Madiba will remain in intensive care electronic limbo until his passing can be unveiled to the maximum benefit of the ANC in […]

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Mandela – what lies beneath?

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By Sipho Singiswa It may be hard for many to gracefully accept or admit, as has been an African tradition, that when Madiba has decided he is ready to go meet his ancestors or when they call him, only he will know when best to go. I am writing in response to all the liberal […]