News/Politics

Beware, the new statues

Dali Tambo’s struggle theme park self-proclaimed “the show business of history” will soon be an expensive blot on the landscape. But about such present-day bronzes our students have had, so far, little to say. Irrespective of the misgivings that some will have regarding Mr Tambo’s R600 million-R700 million boon most, one suspects, will have no fundamental objection…

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The delusion at the heart of the sustainable development goals

This is a big year for the development industry. In September, the world’s heads of state will gather in New York City to decide on the new sustainable development goals (SDGs), which will replace the millennium development goals as they expire. This process might sound mundane and wonky to people who don’t follow the development…

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No country for Chicken Littles

“The erosion of institutions” has become something of a buzzword. Add to this the “paralysis in crucial institutions”, and “institutional fabric being unwound”, and you’d be forgiven for thinking you were in Mobutu’s Zaire. They’re usually adjectives attributed to the local commentariat: which interpret any event as a sign of the country’s imminent implosion/race war…

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Trevor Noah gets the perfect platform for his humour

March 30 2015. The day Trevor Noah was inducted into the league of American late-night talk show hosts. Diarise it. March 30 2015. Where were you on this day? What did you tweet when you heard the news? The news that he will be given the responsibility of presenting The Daily Show when Jon Stewart…

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Rhodes: Views from a black associate professor at UCT

By Caroline Ncube Amid the calls for radical transformation at the University of Cape Town (UCT), there are many voices seeking to be heard. That must be heard. I am compelled to speak too. I am a black African, non-South African, female associate professor at UCT. As a foreign national I make no bones about…

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Give Rhodes to the artists

By Jordan Griffiths When I first heard of the #RhodesMustFall movement my response was simple, the statue must come down. For me it wasn’t even a question. I was privileged enough to have spent two years on the student council at the University of Pretoria (UP). I saw how aggressively transformation was fought at the…

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Breaking out into the African institution: Rhodes University

By Nedine Moonsamy As a young postgraduate student I opted to study in India despite Darwinian warnings about the culture and academic institutions. Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised by the depth and rigour of Indian intellectual pursuits and soon became enamoured by the idiosyncrasies of their postcolonial academic culture. Unlike South Africa, Indian…

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Revisiting the Rhodes statue

The recent announcement by the University of Cape Town (UCT) that the statue of Cecil John Rhodes would be taken down has, largely, been welcomed. Although I am opposed to this decision, I am alarmed by the attitude displayed by both sides during this debacle. I have swung between extremes depending on how offensive or…

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Confronting our white ignorance in a time when #RhodesMustFall

By Roné McFarlane As the #RhodesMustFall debate continues, there are aspects of white reactions that need to be talked about … by white people. There is, however, a danger in discussing whiteness in the time of the #RhodesMustFall protests. You could rightly argue that it would be detracting from black struggles that are receiving more…

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Sissy Cecil tests the mettle of university administrators

The statue of Cecil John Rhodes, 19th century Cape prime minister, southern African mining magnate, and British imperialist, is to be removed from its commanding position over the rugby fields of the University of Cape Town.  In response to pressure from a small but effectively organised gang of students — who alternated the shock tactics…

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