On Thursday evening, President Jacob Zuma will stand at the front of Parliament with his hand on his heart as the military band plays the stirring notes of Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika, the 21-gun salute thunders and fighter planes roar overhead. It is a poignant moment at the Opening of Parliament every year, a brief moment of unity and patriotism. This year, the national salute will be taken by a man unworthy of the honour of leading the Republic of South Africa. He shamed himself and he shamed the Parliament he will enter.
Sometimes silences speak volumes.
In his seminal book The Anti-Politics Machine Stanford University anthropologist James Ferguson criticised the World Bank’s 1980s understanding of Lesotho as a “traditional subsistence peasant society.” Apartheid’s migrant labour system was explicitly ignored by the bank, yet remittances from Basotho workers toiling in mines, factories and farms across the Caledon River accounted for 60% of rural people’s income:
A sensational prison interview with M&G reporters uncovers new evidence linking Madikizela-Mandela to the murder of Dr Abu Baker Asvat.
One of the two men convicted of the killing of Dr Abu Baker Asvat at his Soweto surgery on January 27 1989 described this week how they were contracted by Winnie Madikizela- Mandela to carry out the assassination to cover up the beating of the murdered activist Stompie Seipei.
Since the rising of the sun of democracy upon the magnificent Drakensberg, none of the other sons of the soil on whom we have bestowed the title of president has come close to Thabo Mbeki in speechwriting. I predict that in the year 2100, students of post-apartheid South African rhetoric the world over will continue to recognise his 1996 “I am an African” speech as a remarkable text and superbly delivered speech.
Current developments in South Africa are reminiscent of events in 1985. In that year South Africa experienced high costs from currency depreciation and adverse political developments. At the time the country faced increasing international sanctions and isolation, while the exchange rate of the rand remained under severe pressure, recording sharp falls in the international value of the rand.
On 30 September 1989, at the height of apartheid Archbishop Desmond Tutu leads a group of protesters for a walk on a "whites only" beach at the Strand. White South Africans need to acknowledge the hurt resulting from apartheid, says the author. Picture: Willie de Klerk
Apologies are still needed for the pain caused by apartheid, writes Joanne Joseph.
Students block registration at Wits' Braamfontein Campus in Johannesburg on Monday. Picture: FREDDY MAVUNDA
ARE universities a financial bottomless pit? It may seem that they are.
Shortly after both President Jacob Zuma and Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande announced billions of rand in additional funding to reduce registration fees, relieve debt and increase the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), universities were confronted by militant students demanding financial relief at the beginning of the new academic year.
Nobody wants a repeat of Marikana's bloody August 16 2012. But what measures are being put in place to prevent that?
As we report in this edition, a peacekeeping force of some kind has been mooted to end the violence still haunting the platinum belt, where unionists on both sides of the labour divide have been murdered, and where, it is feared, a situation similar to that which led to 44 deaths last year could be developing. Nobody wants a rerun of August 16 2012, but what is happening to prevent that?
“My generation led Africa to political freedom. The current generation of leaders and peoples of Africa must pick up the flickering torch of African freedom, refuel it with their enthusiasm and determination, and carry it forward,” said Tanzania’s first president, Julius Nyerere, one of the founding fathers of the OAU, in a speech given in Accra on the occasion of Ghana’s 40th independence anniversary celebrations on 6 March 1997. This piece is extracted from that speech.