News/Politics

My captain, murdered for a cellphone…

It was long before dawn. I moved carefully so as not to disturb the woman who sleeps next to my heart every night I am home. But she awakened suddenly and saw that I was dressing up. “What is it,” she asked. “You’re not having a heart attack, are you?” I have an unusually high…

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Do economic sanctions go against WTO rules?

Economic sanctions are international measures that are usually used as punitive or corrective procedures. When one hears of economic sanctions countries like Russia, Sudan and Iraq come to mind, with the US being the chief instigator of such sanctions. Economic sanctions are penalties applied by a country or countries on another country or countries. Economic…

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Senzo: Let’s get rid of the guns

It was in 2007 when my bother first told me that there would be someone calling me regarding the confirmation of his gun licence. I knew he had a gun because my mother always grumbled saying she didn’t understand why he had it in the first place, but I had never had to deal with…

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Numsa: Is this the left’s moment?

The announcement that Numsa would form its own socialist party should come as no surprise. Numsa’s battles within Cosatu (most notably with its historical rival, the Jacob Zuma-aligned NUM) and the ruling alliance (particularly with the Zuma faction, ostensibly on questions of ideology) have served as a generous forewarning that this was coming. Further, in…

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SA’s failures in the international human-rights system

South Africa is increasingly failing to report to the UN international treaty monitoring bodies, prompting the UN Human Rights Committee to take the exceptional measure of reviewing South Africa in respect of its performance under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) without receiving an input from the government. It has not submitted…

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Crime: There is something rotten in the state of South Africa

Driving to work this morning I heard the news about the fatal shooting of Bafana Bafana and Orlando Pirates captain Senzo Meyiwa. Saddening and extremely disturbing as it is, the irony of the matter is that it is even more saddening that the vast majority of people who fall senseless victims to the apparently never-ending…

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Steve Hofmeyr – SA’s first man without a brain

Neuroscientists at Groote Schuur, Cape Town’s premier academic hospital, today admitted that they were baffled about how alleged author, singer and self-styled Afrikaner saviour Steve Hofmeyr had existed for more than 50 years without a brain. Hofmeyr was airlifted to the pioneering medical centre – the scene of the world’s first heart transplant – after…

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Is the public protector an ‘enforcer’ or a ‘recommender’?

The public protector has dominated the news yet again this year, and I’m sure this has been the year with the most coverage in the public protector’s history. One thing that has been outstanding is the debate around the powers of the office of the public protector. The public protector falls under chapter nine institutions,…

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Batho pele, we need servants not rulers

For many outside his country, he remains nondescript. For the people of Uruguay — their president embodies the calling of being a true civil servant. Colloquially, he is known as the world’s poorest president. An assessment of his lifestyle may just confirm that to be true. He, however, disputes that he is poor. Rather, he…

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Winnie Mandela and the misrecognition of black women

Mail & Guardian columnist Verashni Pillay in “Five times Winnie Mandela has let us down” writes that Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s quest to reclaim the Mandela Qunu home “is another embarrassing incident to add to her growing list of failures”. Pillay says there’s “historical revisionism happening in some quarters of our nation these days that brands Nelson…

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