General

Poverty, inequality to blame for mayhem in Soweto

It is generally accepted that social unrest and other forms of instability are driven by multiple factors that have, for whatever reasons, been ignored for a long time. Poverty and unemployment are real and visible everywhere you go in the black townships. In such a depressing environment, all it needs is a spark to ignite…

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Understanding ‘world politics’ today – Rancière and Žižek

What I have in mind with this title pertains mainly to the work of that inimitable philosopher Jacques Rancière who has infused political thinking with new life, given the fact that it has become moribund under the dead weight of largely irrelevant liberal political theory and the idea that all politics is governed by the…

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ANC, La Grange and the danger of polarised debate

South Africa’s twittersphere was set ablaze last week when former president Nelson Mandela’s personal assistant, Zelda la Grange reacted to comments made by President Jacob Zuma who ascribed many of the country’s present governance problems to Jan van Riebeeck (the Dutch settler who “founded” Cape Town in 1652). The substance of her tweets does not…

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Hello Eskom my old friend

They tell me you’ll be visiting again soon bringing Load Shedding with you. They don’t know exactly when that will be, but knowing you guys, it’s safe to assume it will be at the most awkward moment possible. In preparation of your visit I went to the trouble jotting down notes to make your stay…

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Back to basics

By Nosipho Sokhela The ultimate male was the kind that telegraphed letters confessing his undying love, the kind of man that would open the door, kiss your hand before diving in for the big one. Confident enough to catch your attention yet humble enough to retain it despite his initial success. Time and again I…

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A day on WhatsApp

“Get on WhatsApp!” they told me. “It’s FREE!” they said. So I caved. Not one to miss out on a freebie I headed down to the nearest Vodacom shop to connect my BlackBerry to the internet for R59 a month to get WhatsApp for “free”. BIS the shop girl called it. You’re damn right it’s…

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A novel that can teach us how to rebel against the colonisation of the mind

What do you get when you project the present media-saturated and media-sustained global economic-political hegemony into the future? You get a society where the kind of colonisation of the mind, brought about mainly through mainstream media’s incessant distribution of standardised discourses affirming the nonsense, that there is “no alternative” to neoliberal capitalism, is exacerbated to…

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Teacher, don’t leave those kids alone

I watched the basic education minister, Angie Motshekga, deliver the matric results on eNews yesterday afternoon. It was not pretty. Neither were the results impressive. And the minister’s speech was awful. There were times when she lost me completely, most of all when it came to the actual provincial results. Or was that the district…

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‘The Life of I': Narcissism and (of course) you

“Paranoia is the self-cure for insignificance … the paranoiac is at the centre of a world which has no centre … to be hated makes him feel real: he has made his presence felt. To be unforgiveable is to be unforgettable.” (Emphases mine.) Australian social philosopher Anne Manne shrewdly begins The Life of I: the…

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My father told me…

  My father came and told me of a place he went to as a child. It was a tunnel sweet with weeds and a rushing, voiceless wind. He said he wished he could take me there, sometime.   My father came and told me of places he went to as a youth. They were…

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