Mike van Graan

Juju does Guy Fawkes?

Behold, the end of the world is nigh! The barbarians have breached the gates! Extremists are redrawing maps without the superpowers! Journalists’ heads are rolling — and not only at Independent Newspapers! Jihadists now speak with English accents! Oh, and Juju’s in the house. And he’s not playing nice. Civilisation as we know it is…

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Lessons in democracy from the poor

The decision by members of Abahlali baseMjondolo (AbM) in KwaZulu-Natal to endorse the Democratic Alliance in the 2014 election has not only raised many eyebrows, but has also unleashed stinging vitriol against this branch of the shack-dwellers’ movement. Started in 2005, AbM with its anti-evictions focus and its campaigns for decent public housing is recognised…

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When a ‘spoil-your-vote’ campaign might be effective

The Sidikiwe! (We are fed up!) campaign has been launched, calling on potential voters – particularly among those who might have supported the ruling ANC in the past – to repudiate the ANC in its current form in the forthcoming elections. The leaders of the campaign – including a former minister and deputy minister in…

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Help the ANC, vote for an opposition party

We are about to celebrate Human Rights Day, a day that reminds us of the Sharpeville slaughter, a day that commits us as a country “never again” to repeat such an atrocity. Precisely for this reason, the Marikana massacre will render our Human Rights Day hollow until those responsible — who pulled the triggers, who…

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Spreading hate in the name of God

For 10 minutes or so, the Wits Art Museum resembled a Pentecostal revivalist meeting. Hands were raised in worship as the crowd swayed and sang hymns. On stage, two pastors lay their hands on the person kneeling in front of them, the subject of their passionate prayers. This was not supposed to be. Not because…

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The DA’s Luthuli House march and our green-man-flashing democracy

Who in 1994 would have thought that in 2014 the ruling party would call upon an opposition party to abort its planned march on the ruling party’s headquarters, raising the spectre of violence if the march proceeded? But then, who would have thought that we would have an average of more than 30 protests a…

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Ramphele debacle reflects DA’s double standards

For the Democratic Alliance, this was to be the “game-changer”. With a credible black face as its presidential candidate, the ANC would no longer be able to use the race card to dismiss the DA, went the reasoning. Yet, no sooner had the DA announced Mamphela Ramphele as its Number One candidate, the ANC was…

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Reasons not to vote EFF?

My previous column elicited a wide range of public and private responses that have caused me to reflect again on my decision to vote for the EFF in 2014. Having considered most of these arguments — and more — before stating my intention to vote for the EFF, I think that I owe it to…

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Why I will be voting EFF

1. More than two-thirds of our population is under 35. Out of the parties contesting the forthcoming elections, the EFF is the best-placed party to represent the majority of this sizeable demographic whose aspirations and frustrations will heavily impact on the future of our country. 2. More than 70% of unemployed South Africans are under…

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The A to Z of things we cannot blame on apartheid

At Nelson Mandela’s memorial service, President Jacob Zuma made the point that “he (Mandela) told us that the promises of democracy would not be met overnight … and we all agreed with him … ”. Was this a co-option of Madiba somehow to justify the slow pace of service delivery? While it is true that…

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