Capturing History, 280 Characters at a Time ( The Mellon Foundation) by Bergis Jules and Edward Summers, March 2019

5 April 2019

When massive protests erupted in Ferguson, Missouri in August 2014 in reaction to the shooting death of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown by white policeman Darren Wilson, a duo of archivists were inspired to explore how to preserve social media posts as a means to document history for the ages—and to empower social activists to take control of their own narratives.

How Ipsos got ANC support completely wrong in 2016 (WWW.INSIDE-POLITICS.ORG) by Gareth van Onselen, 1 April 2019

2 April 2019


It is election season, and that means a raft of political polls. One of the mainstays of the South African market research universe is “research giant” Ipsos. It has, since July 2018, already released three such polls. They have included a range of numbers – particularly with regard to DA support – that are deeply problematic, for a wide range of reasons.

Buthelezi: IFP lost support because of Zuma by Ngwako Modjadji (News24), 26 March 2019

28 March 2019

Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) president Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi believes that support for his party waned in the last elections because Jacob Zuma was ANC president – a situation which fuelled a rise of Zulu nationalism among IFP supporters, who became convinced that it was their turn to govern the country.

In an interview with City Press on Friday, Buthelezi spoke about how Zuma’s leadership of the ANC affected support for the IFP, saying that Zulus who deserted the IFP for the Zuma-led ANC were now returning to the party.

UN team to investigate 'horrific' massacre in central Mali (News24), 27 March 2019

28 March 2019

The United Nations is deploying crime-scene investigators, human rights officers and a child protection expert to central Mali to investigate intercommunal violence over the weekend that killed more than 150 people, one-third of them children.

Spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani of the UN human rights office says the massacre in Ogossagou, in Mali's Mopti region, mostly targeted people from the ethnic Fulani, or Peuhl, community.

Why the notion of a Fourth Industrial Revolution is so problematic by Tim Small (Tim Unwin's Blog), 9 March 2019

25 March 2019

Watching a video last Wednesday at UNESCO’s Mobile Learning Week produced by Huawaei on the Fourth Industrial Revolution reminded me of everything that is problematic and wrong with the notion: it was heroic, it was glitzy, women were almost invisible, and above all it implied that technology was, and still is, fundamentally changing the world.  It annoyed and frustrated me because it was so flawed, and it made me think back to when Klaus Schwab first gave me a copy of his book The Fourth Industrial Revolution in 2016.  I read it, appreciated its superficially beguiling style, foun

People must take back the municipalities by Fani Ncapayi and Lungisile Ntsebeza (Mail and Guardian) 8 March 2019

12 March 2019

Addressing MPs on May 15 last year, the minister of co-operative governance and traditional affairs, Zweli Mkhize, lamented the state of the municipalities, describing 87 out of 283 of them as dysfunctional. In his words, there are a growing number of “municipalities which are becoming distressed or dysfunctional, including those that are regressing in audit outcomes”.

He identified “mismanagement and political instability or interference, corruption and incompetence” as contributory factors.

The Challenge of Preserving the Historical Record of #MeToo by Nora Caplan-Bricker (The New Yorker) March 11, 2019

12 March 2019

Around the height of the #MeToo revelations, in the fall of 2017, I interviewed an archivist at a prominent research library for a piece about social-media preservation. It quickly became apparent that he knew less about the subject than I did; he saved Facebook posts by painstakingly copying and pasting them into Word, comment by comment, and manually pressing print. The longer we spoke, the more visibly annoyed he grew by my questions, to which he offered no answers. He leaned farther and farther back in his chair and gazed over my left shoulder.

H.I.V. Is Reported Cured in a Second Patient, a Milestone in the Global AIDS Epidemic by Apoorva Mandavilli (New York Times), March 4, 2019

6 March 2019

For just the second time since the global epidemic began, a patient appears to have been cured of infection with H.I.V., the virus that causes AIDS.

The news comes nearly 12 years to the day after the first patient known to be cured, a feat that researchers have long tried, and failed, to duplicate. The surprise success now confirms that a cure for H.I.V. infection is possible, if difficult, researchers said.

Protesters killed in vain as taps still run dry, by Selloane Khalane (New Frame), 26 February 2019

27 February 2019

he televised police shooting of community activist Andries Tatane on 13 April 2011 shut down the small cherry-farming community of Ficksburg in the Free State.

Tatane was 33 years old when police opened fire on unarmed residents during a protest in Meqheleng township. Strewn with debris and potholes, the township lies on the outskirts of the small town, which borders Lesotho.

Kitlano Leeuw, 16, was also shot and killed during a protest in Taung, North West, in April last year. But residents say the killings of Tatane and Leeuw were in vain.

Africa’s student movements: history sheds light on modern activism by Dan Hodgkinson and Luke Melchiorre (, February 18, 2019

20 February 2019

On 9 March 2015, a student hurled faeces at a statue of British colonialist Cecil Rhodes. This act led to the statue’s removal. It also inspired the most significant period of student protest in post-apartheid South Africa’s history.