News/Politics

#Bringbackourgirls, Lwandle, Gaza and detaching from this world

It started with the #Bringbackourgirls campaign. I hadn’t followed the story closely, but when I read articles to make sense of what had happened, I couldn’t make sense of it. I tried to imagine people coming into my school and taking away the students and there being no sense of security or outcry. I tried…

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David Saks and the naturalness of white contempt

In Ubuntu: Curating the Archive (edited by Leonhard Praeg and Siphokazi Magadla), Ama Biney notes in the chapter “The Historical Discourse on Humanism: Interrogating the Paradoxes” that Aimé Cesaire notably made the case that Hitler’s crime was mainly that “he applied to Europe colonialist procedures, which until then had been reserved exclusively for the Arabs…

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An amputation for our Frankenstein anthem?

The October 10 1997 Government Gazette announced that the national anthem committee, chaired by Professor Mzilikazi Khumalo, had completed its work. The professor had presided over the successful animation of a creature. A creature comprised of parts taken from the bodies of each of our lived histories. For one group this creature was a repugnant…

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The artefacts of the dead

The picture was on Twitter. What caught my eye wasn’t the small coffin or the drawn faces of the parents or the crucifix of yellow roses arranged on the gleaming wooden lid. It was the two toy sports cars, still in their boxes, placed carefully on top of the flowers to accompany the body of…

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Don’t become just another statistic on September 5

Numbers never tell the whole story. They rarely reveal the nuance of cause and effect and are vulnerable to massaging by vested interests. Sometimes, however, they are as startling and eye popping as a punch to the nose. Take the astounding violence of this society. South African Police Service (SAPS) statistics show that between April…

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Budget votes revealing of state’s agenda

The annual budget speeches delivered by the finance minister provoke a bonanza of commentary and coverage — then the chatter falls silent. The budget speech is really an entrée that sketches the year ahead but does not provide the detail wherein the devil lurks. Flushing him out means paying attention to the departmental budget votes…

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‘Hitler got it right’ goes multiracial

A posting by Rene Smit, an obscure ANC party worker in the Western Cape, quickly went viral when it emerged that it sang the praises of Adolf Hitler for killing off the Jews and intimated that had been retro-actively justified by the behaviour to date of those Jews who survived. The post featured a picture…

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Mad dog lawmakers and Englishmen go out in the midday sun

The infantalisation of society continues apace. Instead of instilling a modicum of common sense and self-responsibility, most governments find it far less onerous to just swaddle their citizens in cotton wool and park them in front of the TV. This week the South African government tabled draft legislation to make it illegal for school tuck…

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Mandela Day – a neocolonial exercise in the commodification of the good black

While every other black leader in a post-1994 South Africa has been constructed as an inferior “other” by the dominant discourse, Nelson Mandela has been deified as a saintly black and is held in high esteem by whiteness. He has been hailed as a decent and rational African by the moderate liberal white discourse and…

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Lindiwe Sisulu and the myth of ‘welfare queens’

Housing Minister Lindiwe Sisulu is no stranger to the spotlight. Despite being one of the highest-ranking female leaders in the ANC, the spotlight tends to follow her for all the wrong reasons. And that’s why I’ve always watched her carefully. The daughter of a political dynasty and a surviving doyenne in the continuous internal struggle…

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