Error message

Deprecated function: Array and string offset access syntax with curly braces is deprecated in include_once() (line 20 of /mnt/cp4-home2/histmcz1/public_html/includes/

When the split hits the fan: Vavi’s future at a crossroads by Stephen Grootes

10 November 2014

The expulsion of metalworkers’ union NUMSA is a seismic event. It will eventually rock the foundations of our politics and will probably become the split of COSATU. As predictable and well-signposted as Friday night’s decision was, the shockwaves are still reverberating. One person whose future is now at a crossroads is obviously Zwelinzima Vavi. As General Secretary of COSATU, he appears to have sided with the union that was expelled, and Numsa’s prediction that he could be next is probably accurate. But he also has a choice to make himself.

Numsa unleashed and full throttle: Welcome to the ANC’s biggest nightmare by Ranjeni Munusamy

10 November 2014

Imagine an alliance or political front featuring Irvin Jim, Julius Malema, Zwelinzima Vavi and Joseph Mathunjwa. If “Pay back the money!” made President Jacob Zuma hide from Parliament, there will be no place for him, ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe, SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande and Cosatu president S’dumo Dlamini to run, should this attack force line up. Following the expulsion of Numsa from Cosatu in the early hours of Saturday morning, there is renewed determination from the union’s leaders to change the political alignment of the country and come back fighting.

How do we talk about the memory of Apartheid

16 October 2014

In 1966 the South African government declared District Six—a high-density, mostly coloured residential area intrinsic to the fabric of downtown Cape Town for at least a century and situated on prime land beneath Table Mountain —to be a white “Group Area.” The state promptly set about forcefully removing District Six’s “non-white” residents (eventually about 60,000 of them) to land up to 30 miles further to a flood plane known as the “Cape Flats,” which consisted of mostly swamp land and sand dunes populated by invasive vegetation.

Vavi's plea to S'dumo

12 November 2014

Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi has written a two-page letter to the union federation's president, S'dumo Dlamini, pleading with him to save it from collapse following the expulsion of the National Union of Metalworkers of SA.

Vavi, who was not present at a press briefing yesterday where Cosatu justified its reasons for expelling Numsa, said it was not too late to save the federation.

"If we do not do everything we can, history will judge all of us extremely harshly," he said.

Elections – forty years on by Glenn Moss

8 May 2014

Many of the political generation who embraced a sort of independent radicalism in the 1970s found it difficult to decide which party to support in Wednesday’s national and provincial elections.

Of course we celebrated the right of all South Africans to vote. Forty years ago, we doubted we would live to see a universal franchise and that, by itself, was a reason to vote with enthusiasm on 7 May.  

Decolonising the mind: The misunderstanding of traditional African beliefs by Cosmic Yoruba

6 May 2014

Few people are aware that Voudou (rather than “voodoo”) is a faith based on harmony with nature, one that expressly forbids the killing of another being, or that most African faith systems believe in the concept of one God above all other divinities and deities, who function much as a pantheon of saints.

The 4th Century Art that Died Out Across the World and the Ethiopian Scribes Trying to Preserve it by James Jeffrey

8 May 2014

DEBRE LIBANOS, Ethiopia, May 8 2014 (IPS) - Misganew Andeurgay changes his bamboo-made pen for another, dips it in a tiny pot of viscous liquid and, on a parchment page filled with black script, begins to trace in scarlet-red ink the Amharic word for god. 

For centuries Ethiopian scribes like Misganew have written holy texts in manuscripts made out of leather and with worshipful respect, inscribing on them holy names in red ink.

Born Free, and Disinterested by Rebekah Funk

5 May 2014

South Africa’s May 7 elections mark the first time in democratic history that those born into Nelson Mandela’s post-apartheid ‘Rainbow Nation’ can vote.

While these so-called “born frees” make up about two million of the country’s 31.4 million eligible voters, dismal registration numbers have both politicians and analysts puzzled at the youths’ seeming lack of political interest.