5 things to remember when researching Africa by Melanie Archer (Africa Research Institute), 19 March 2014

6 May 2014

On Monday 17th March, I attended a conference to showcase PhD research organised by the Africa Research Student Network, which provides a forum for London-based, Africa-focused research students to discuss and learn from one another’s work. The keynote address was delivered by Dr. Funmi Olonisakin, founding Director of the African Leadership Centre; here are five things to remember when researching Africa, inspired by Dr Olonisakin’s talk.

1. Africa does not exist in a vacuum

Provincial elites use Zuma as Trojan horse to hit Treasury by Ivor Chipkin, Joel Pearson and Sarita Pillay (BDLive), 17 December 2015

18 December 2015

President Jacob Zuma listens to the state of the nation debate in Parliament. Picture: GCIS

AFTER Nhlanhla Nene was fired, cyber and print commentary, searching for an explanation, grasped at several terms: state capture, cronyism, patronage. The essence of the argument is that President Jacob Zuma’s actions were motivated by self-interest and the interests of family, friends and associates.

Thwarted attack reins in the ANC’s rural barons by Steven Friedman (BDLive), 17 December 2015

18 December 2015

Protesters wave banners and flags calling for the resignation of President Jacob Zuma in Johannesburg on Wednesday. Picture: AFP PHOTO/MUJAHID SAFODIEN

SOMETIMES, failing to see a society’s strengths can be as much of a problem as ignoring its weaknesses. Which is why much of the reaction to Pravin Gordhan’s return as finance minister did us no favours by presenting a victory for SA as a defeat.

NEWS ANALYSIS: Two cases cast their shadows on Zuma by Franny Rabkin (BDLive), 17 December 2015

18 December 2015

COURT DATES: The ‘spy tapes’ and ‘pay back the money’ matters, in which president Zuma is embroiled, come up in the new year. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES

PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma is no stranger to court, but in February and March, two cases will be heard that could have significant personal consequences for him. After more than six years of legal wrangling, the court case that could lead to Mr Zuma facing corruption charges once again has finally been set down to be heard in March.

UNEMBARGOED: Claim Mandela sold out is easy but ahistorical by Songezo Zibi (BDlive), 07 December 2015

8 December 2015

They were severely tortured.

Weapons and fighters were spirited to the former Transkei, where a homeland dictator friendly to the ANC, Bantu Holomisa, provided them with sanctuary and used state resources to sustain them. Of course, this later became inconvenient to mention as the battle for political power within the ANC resulted in the general’s expulsion from the party.

Cosatu march: For Who, for What? by BC Simelane and G Nicolson (Daily Maverick), South Africa

8 December 2015

Almost everything and everyone, it turns out. If last week's anti-corruption march had a vague focus, Cosatu's national strike on Wednesday included something for everyone. The demands however aren't the point. It was an attempt to foster unity while the federation is fractured, a search for relevance while Cosatu is under unprecedented pressure. By BHEKI C. SIMELANE & GREG NICOLSON.