David Africa

Zille’s latest campaign – a desperate attempt for legitimacy

In the four general elections held in post-apartheid South Africa, the African National Congress obtained the lion’s share of the vote, always garnering more than 62%, and an even bigger slice of votes from black South Africans. The Democratic Alliance’s 2014 election campaign has already kicked off, with its characterisation of the ruling party a…

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Lonmin tragedy exposes the farce of a transformed police force

The killing of more than 30 mineworkers by police on Thursday is a watershed in post-apartheid policing and politics. Whatever the challenges confronting police in the face of an agitated and armed group of workers, the numbers of miners killed seems to reflect an action that seriously transgresses the limits of a reasonable response. The…

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Special Assignment drops journalistic integrity, embraces Pagad

On Wednesday September 28 the SABC’s Special Assignment programme aired a documentary on the re-emergence of the organisation People Against Gangsterism and Drugs (Pagad). South Africans will remember Pagad as a Cape Town-based vigilante movement established in the mid-1990s that, after a seemingly peaceful start to its activities, turned to violence against drug dealers, gang…

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What does Gwede’s Manuel-bashing mean for ANC members?

Dear Comrade Gwede Mantashe, In the current spirit of letter writing by members and supporters of the ANC I am writing having just read a statement attributed to you by the media, in inverted commas nogal, about the Jimmy Manyi-Trevor Manuel sparring match I’ve been pleased to witness over the past two weeks. I say…

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Why provide platforms for apologists of a criminal regime?

The recent assault by Israeli commandos on a civilian flotilla of ships carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza raised protests globally, not least here in South Africa where we have always had a substantial pro-Palestinian movement. I attended a discussion on the Goldstone Report on the 2008/9 Gaza conflict, hosted by Open Shuhada Street this week,…

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No new light, just recycled trash: Anthea Jeffery’s People’s War

Anthea Jeffery commits 634 pages to a study of the “people’s war” in the South African context in an attempt to debunk what she claims to be a false conception of how the ANC gained power, the nature of the political violence that characterised South Africa from the 1980s up to 1994, and a special…

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General Cele and our new (read old) army of police officers

Our national commissioner of police has now announced that he will soon become a general as the police force reverts to its apartheid-era military ranking system. Our soon-to-be general tells us that this reversion to a past age is necessary because the demilitarisation of policing ranks in 1995 impacted negatively on discipline in the police….

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Brawn or brains: Whither policing in SA?

The recent appointment of Bheki Cele as police commissioner has once again brought the persistently high levels of crime to the fore. Despite some substantial improvements, SAPS are struggling to get a handle on the crime situation. As has become par for the course, Cele has publicly adopted an aggressive approach to crime including his…

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Boesak, an ‘accidental politician’ peddling deliberate distortions?

I’ve just read Alan Boesak’s recently published “reflections” on the anti-apartheid struggle and the challenges that continue to confront us as a society. While he reflects some interesting perspectives on the nature of the struggle, the resolution of the political conflict and the character of post-apartheid South Africa, it seems to me that the esteemed…

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