News/Politics

Migration, get used to it South Africa

By Mike Mavura One reason migration enters social and political agendas with greater frequency and salience currently in host societies is because it is seen as disturbing the sense of boundedness. Migrants call attention to the permeability of borders. They enter previously delineated and structured social, economic, cultural, political and, of course, physical spaces. The…

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The painful context behind the xenophobic violence in Soweto

The xenophobic violence in Soweto has elicited a much-needed public debate on the possible causes and what to do about it. Radio talk shows have discussed this issue the whole week. Researchers have also weighed in with interesting data that demonstrate that these traders are not as dominant as we might think. But what we…

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Klein Karoo National Arts Festival: Close, but no cigar

Just before the weekend I learned that the Klein Karoo National Arts Festival (KKNK) had recently posted a Facebook statement informing the public that Steve Hofmeyr would not be performing at this year’s festival. The post continued to say that Hofmeyr had not, in fact, applied to participate, but that even if he had, the…

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Pogroms in Mandelaland

With regard to the latest outbreak of xenophobic violence, I can do no better than quote Ranjeni Munusamy, who wrote (Daily Maverick, January 23): “Incidents of racism and xenophobia have again exposed South Africa as a superficial, ugly, violent nation that lacks respect for other human beings. From exclusive restaurants in Cape Town that discriminate…

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Marie biscuit corruption shows up the rot

This week a minor official, corrupted with a packet of Marie biscuits, highlighted starkly the present rot and inequities in the nation. Corruption is endemic to all political systems. What differs is how it is dealt with. Because governments in Western democracies are easily voted out, popular outrage over corruption is assuaged by periodically acting…

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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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In defence of journalistic objectivity

The appearance in public of senior editorial members of the Independent media group in ANC garb has occasioned a vibrant if sometimes bitter debate about independence and partisanship. What set off a lively and sometimes-acrimonious debate was an article by Daily Maverick writer Marianne Thamm, who raised the idea of journalistic “objectivity”. She wrote: “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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