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Selebi and I almost fixed rotten SAPS by Bheki Cele (SundayIndependent), 15 September 2013

17 September 2013

Former national police commissioner Bheki Cele responds to “the latest rant” by (DA minister of police) Dianne Kohler Barnard.

Johannesburg - For all of the three years that I served as national police commissioner, the SAPS and I were subjected to an almost daily barrage of insults from (DA minister of police) Dianne Kohler Barnard.

At the time, I could not respond to her without running the risk of being accused of furthering the interests of my political party, the ANC, in violation of Section 46(1)(d) of the SAPS Service Act.

Gandhi and white violence in colonial Natal by Jeremy Martens, 8 April 2014

30 April 2014

In 1896, as part of a rising anti-Indian agitation, white settlers in the colony of Natal formed two populist organisations to pressure the government. Both the European Protection Association and Colonial Patriotic Union garnered widespread support and within a few months the Union had collected 5514 signatures to a petition requesting the government ‘to adopt measures which will prevent the influx of Asiatic races into this colony’.

Amahashi: African rickshaw pullers in early twentieth century Durban, 25 March 2014

30 April 2014

African rickshaw pullers, or amahashi (horses), were an indispensible part of Durban’s transport system in the early twentieth century; and by the time this postcard was produced by Sallo Epstein & Co in about 1907 their distinctive and elaborate costumes had already become a tourist attraction.

South Africa at 20: Storms behind the rainbow by Jason Hickel, 28 March 2014, South Africa

5 May 2014

April 27 marks the 20th anniversary of South Africa's first democratic elections. Most of us remember those iconic images of citizens queuing up in long, snaking lines to vote Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress (ANC) into power. It was an extraordinary moment, replete with hope and pregnant with expectation, enough to supply years' worth of the jubilant narrative that many have grown accustomed to hearing about South Africa. 

South Africa at 20: The re-awakening of “the left” in post-apartheid South Africa? by Dr Stephen Hurt

5 May 2014

 As the African National Congress (ANC) pursues a “talk left, walk right strategy”, Stephen Hurt  of Oxford Brookes University analyses what “the left” needs to do to become a potent force in South Africa’s politics once again.

Liberation from the liberator by Njabulo S Ndebele (News24), 05 May 2014

6 May 2014

Two weeks ago, “Comrades” Essop Pahad and Ronnie Kasrils disagreed publicly on how members of the African National Congress should vote in next Wednesday’s election. This moment had long been coming.

The posture of the ANC as a united organisation with robust internal discussion of issues was yet again in question. The disagreement, spilling into the public domain will have a progressively corrosive effect on the ANC’s dominance of South African politics.

South Africa: plus ça change…by Richard Dowden (Royal African Society), 14 January 2014

6 May 2014

I took a complete break over Christmas and New Year but instead of going somewhere sensible like Scotland or Sri Lanka I went to South Africa and Lesotho. Sunshine everyday and magnificent scenery with lots of Braais, Boerewors and wine, but it was impossible to switch off completely.

South Africa reminds me of the line in Giuseppe di Lampedusa’s great novel The Leopard when the Risorgimento hits Sicily and the old order is under threat: “If we want things to stay as they are, things will have to change” says the prince.

The Real Story of South Africa’s National Elections by Dale T. McKinley

16 May 2014

No sooner had the final results of the recently concluded 2014 national elections been announced than President Zuma gave a predictably self-congratulatory speech lauding the result as “the will of all the people”. The reality however is that the ANC’s victory came from a distinct minority of “the people”. The real ‘winner’, as has been the case since the 2004 elections, was the stay away ‘vote’.