Isaac Mangena

My kids are my retirement plan

I sit here alone wondering what my future holds. Wondering about my days as a grandparent when I’m 70 or so, no longer working. The picture looks like this: I will be an old lump and probably still writing articles, opinion pieces for newspapers (in those days online will have overtaken print). My wife and…

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Gogos under siege: Let’s put an end to it

It should be concerning to every individual when a newspaper headline sates: “Dead woman (80) sexually assaulted with a fork”. Actually everyone should be filled with anger. This was the headline in the Sowetan today (December 4 2013). The story tells of the gruesome murder, and possible rape of Gogo Anna Ntsane of Hennenman in…

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Is SA ready to lead by example?

The inauguration of Advocate Lawrence Mushwana last week as the new chairperson of the International Coordinating Committee of National Institutions for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights (ICC) came at a time when South Africa’s human rights record is at its lowest. Mushwana, who is the chair of South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC),…

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Angie not to blame for teen pregnancy but…

The world’s super-teacher, Ron Clark, recently told CNN how he “met a principal who was recently named as the administrator of the year in her state”. “She was loved and adored by all but she told me she was leaving the profession. I screamed ‘you can’t leave us’ and she quite bluntly replied ‘look, if…

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The Alf I knew

It was on the first day, the opening of the 2010 Fifa World Cup when I heard a voice behind me say “sorry, I need your help”. I turned around and saw a short, old man with cameras and lenses strapped to his body. They looked heavy on him. He was wearing a balaclava, rolled…

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Chief Zuma’s Nkandla the last straw

While growing up I remember noticing the glaring inequalities in my village of Ga-Mamabolo, rural Limpopo, when it came to the local chief and residents. There was an abnormal respect for the chiefs and indunas that led them to think they could siphon money from the residents to enrich themselves, with impunity. For example there…

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Torture, it’s cowardly and cruel

The death of Black Consciousness leader Steve Biko this month 35 years ago shocked the world. It was the cruel manner in which he died that highlighted the undesirable effects of torture by law enforcers. Biko was tortured to death while held at Pretoria Central Prison in 1977. Apartheid security policy allegedly tried to get…

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Commissioner Baai — gone too soon

It’s heart-wrenching to lose someone who led a true cause, especially since it involved ensuring poor people have access to basic food. More so when we live in a world where those who have the power to change things show little or no regard for vulnerable sections of our society. Gladstone Sandi Baai was a…

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Women’s lives remain unchanged

This month is dedicated to women and the struggles they go through on a daily basis. I was wondering how I could pay tribute with an article to their heroism — as a son of a woman myself and a little brother to my sister. Then my new colleague and boss, Pregs Govender, wrote something…

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Who sucks? Our municipalities!

If I were doing Auditor-General Terence Nombembe’s job I would be very angry and demoralised about dishing out the same warnings to local governments over the dismal performance of their municipalities every year. This week was another of those when Nombembe told us how financial management had degenerated over the past three years and irregular…

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