News/Politics

Frolicking failed the Mbete no-confidence motion

The motion of no confidence against National Assembly speaker Baleka Mbete has come and gone, and the ANC predictably used its majority to protect their party chairperson, just as Mbete is accused of using her office to protect Luthuli House and shield its Number One in the National Assembly. While the democratic will of the…

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What could Scottish independence mean for us?

On Thursday, voters will decide whether Scotland will secede from the rest of the UK — a union that has lasted several hundred years. Although this doesn’t seem too important for people outside the UK, there is the potential for great change (or disaster?) following the outcome of the poll. While some South Africans have…

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Brett Bailey’s human zoo and discourse bunfight

Brett Bailey, an award-winning South African theatre director and artist, thought it would be a brilliant idea to recreate a painful period of colonial history by reconstructing what turns out to be a human zoo as a traveling art installation. In his mind this was going to be a smart aesthetic reminder to the world…

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Leave Judge Masipa alone

I have little interest in the Oscar Pistorius trial. I empathise with the loss of, and damage to, life as a result of Pistorius’s actions. This case has, unfortunately, been given more attention than it should. The fact that the victim, and the accused, are well-known, white, moneyed, and privileged, has resulted in this case…

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Time to pull thumb, Mr President

Some of President Jacob Zuma’s top people were all thumbs this week. First up was deputy Defence Minister Kebby Maphatsoe, who also heads the party’s Umkhonto weSizwe (MK) Military Veterans’ Association. Speaking at a Soweto memorial service, he accused the Public Protector Thuli Madonsela of being an agent for the United States Central Intelligence Agency….

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Anti-homosexuality legislation in Africa: The Hart-Devlin debate revisited

The news this week that The Gambia has passed a Bill that further criminalises homosexual conduct and imposes life sentences in cases of “aggravated” homosexuality, along with the continued coverage of the constitutional fate of similar legislation in Uganda, provides an occasion to revisit the most famous debate about the criminalisation of homosexuality in the…

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The problem with being previously disadvantaged

“But we’re not previously disadvantaged … we’re not underprivileged” my students tried to reason with me recently. We were talking about school issues and the issue of the school’s identity came up. I teach at a fairly new school in Cape Town which has been dubbed as a maths and science-focused school for students from…

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Don’t talk to me about race or blackness!

It was one of those easy and relaxed days over the weekend. I was in a group of family and friends enjoying drinks, snacks and good company. After all, we had been invited to hang out and just catch up. I was aware that this was an exclusive black group in a so-called former white-only…

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Egypt: Time to end the diplomatic farce

Egypt’s regime is at it again. Having stuffed its notorious prisons with political dissenters and wantonly murdered hundreds of protesters, the military-backed government has issued an ultimatum to civil-society organisations. They must register under a regressive, Hosni Mubarak-era NGO law, which empowers officials to weed out civil society organisations deemed critical of state policy —…

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Kate’s pregnant again! But wait, why do we care?

The world is abuzz with the news that Kate is pregnant … again! Besides the fact that most women are already jealous of her post-pregnancy blowout, why do we care? Like the five stages of grief, there is a protocol for receiving royal baby news (assuming you’re not a royalist): * Anger — Why am…

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