Why South Africa Can’t Avoid Land Reforms by Mahmood Mamdani, 17 June 2019

20 June 2019

In 1996, while I was teaching at the University of Cape Town, I was invited by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to be an in-house critic at a town hall it had organized. A member of the largely black African audience told this story:

“Tom and John were neighbors. One day Tom stole John’s bicycle. They did not speak for years until the day Tom extended his hand to John and said, ‘Let us reconcile.’

“‘What about my bicycle?’ John asked.

“‘Forget the bicycle,’ Tom said. ‘Let it not stand between us.’”

Unsung Heroes of 16 June 1976: Events leading up to the massacre and the teachers and parents who tried to stop it (Daily Maverick) by Marianne Thamm, 18 June 2019

18 June 2019

In 1968, almost eight years before the 1976 student uprisings against the enforcement of Afrikaans as a medium of instruction in township schools, the Broederbond, a secret Afrikaner society, resolved to “Afrikanerise” the black majority.

By the time 1976 rolled around, black parents, teachers, school boards and residents’ associations had tried in vain for at least two years to meet and consult with government officials to warn of the devastating effects of the instruction to teach, in Afrikaans, half of the subjects taught at township schools.

Marx predicted our present crisis – and points the way out (The Guardian) by Yanis Varoufakis, 20 April 2018

4 June 2019

or a manifesto to succeed, it must speak to our hearts like a poem while infecting the mind with images and ideas that are dazzlingly new. It needs to open our eyes to the true causes of the bewildering, disturbing, exciting changes occurring around us, exposing the possibilities with which our current reality is pregnant. It should make us feel hopelessly inadequate for not having recognised these truths ourselves, and it must lift the curtain on the unsettling realisation that we have been acting as petty accomplices, reproducing a dead-end past.

No, Your Kid Couldn't Paint That: A 101 Guide To Appreciating Abstract Expressionism (Artspace) by Artspace Editors, 23 May 2019

29 May 2019

Whether you’ve visited your local museological establishment to escape the mounting heat or to get some much-needed culture, you may find yourself wondering exactly how the paintings on the wall got there, or, more specifically, why they’re good in the first place. What makes work, well, work? And... what’s with all the drippy bits?

SA’s toxic nationalism on the rise (News24) by Mondli Mkhanya, 19 May 2019

29 May 2019

They say it’s not good to speak ill of the dead. But it’s also improper not to tell the truth about them.

So, here goes. The late Zach de Beer was one of the most dour, colourless and sterile politicians this country has ever produced. How he got to have a stellar political career that saw him eventually lead the Democratic Party (DP) (the DA’s predecessor) is a great mystery.

Perhaps it spoke to his toughness and his inflexible commitment to his principles.

How Nelson Mandela bent history by Mark Suzman (www.newtimes.co.rw) May 16, 2019

17 May 2019

SEATTLE Twenty-five years ago, South Africa held its first free elections after the end of apartheid. The African National Congress won overwhelmingly, and its leader, Nelson Mandela, began to knit the country back together as its new president. As post-apartheid South Africa completes its sixth democratic election, it is worth recalling Mandela’s formidable legacy.

Gains by the FF+ could, perversely, help the DA ( Business Day) by Kaizer Nyatsumba, 11 May 2019

14 May 2019

As the dust settles following our sixth democratic elections, it is clear that the SA electorate has sent the country’s political parties a few solid messages. In the main, these messages have been aimed at the two largest political parties, the ANC and the DA, although the most important one has been more generally intended rather than specifically targeted at those parties. 

Factionalism and corruption could kill the ANC – unless it kills both first (The Conversation) by Christopher Isike, 12 May 2019

14 May 2019

The African National Congress (ANC) – like most liberation movements-turned political parties – has dominated South Africa’s politics since it came to power in 1994. Having just won 57.50% of the national vote in the general election, it appears set to continue its dominance until the next one in 2024.

Looking Leftward at the South African Elections (Jacobin Magazine) by Muchael Nassen Smith & Claire-Anne Lester, 08 May 2019

9 May 2019

Twenty-five years since South Africa’s first democratic election, the country reels in anxiety. Poverty levels sit at 27.7 percent overall and 45.5 percent in rural areas, while potential destitution hangs over another 76 percent of the population. South Africa has recently been again awarded the title of most unequal country in the world, with recent research finding that 10 percent of the population owns 90 percent of the country’s wealth and 50–65 percent of the country’s income.