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Political violence in South Africa points to rising tensions in the ANC (The Conversation), 22 June 2016

23 June 2016

Protesters allied to South Africa’s governing African National Congress (ANC) have been on a rampage following a fallout over the party’s choice of a mayoral candidate for the Tshwane metropole, which includes the administrative capital Pretoria. The Conversation Africa’s politics and society editor Thabo Leshilo put questions to political scientist Keith Gottschalk.

Is political violence part of the South African political landscape?

Yes. Both in terms of violent protests, as in Pretoria, as well as political assassinations.

The wretched scream for political voice by Graeme Addison (BDlive), 14 June 2016

15 June 2016

Frank Mukhaswakule Primary at Mashau village in Vuwani, Limpopo, was burnt down by protesters. Worldwide, attacks against schools and hospitals take place four times a day. Picture: SOWETAN

IT SHOULD worry all politicians that in the run-up to the local government elections masses of people are taking to the streets to hurl rocks, burn tyres, and — in the most extreme cases so far — raze dozens of schools.

Who is to blame for South Africa's failures? by Max du Preez (News24), 14 June 2016

14 June 2016

What exactly has gone wrong since 1994? What was done and not done, and who did or did not do it, that has left South Africa in the mess it is in in 2016?

More to the point: in what measure should we blame our failures and threatening instability on our history before 1994 and on the white minority, and how much blame should we place on bad governance, corruption and a lack of vision by the elected governments since 1994?

Displacing Hierarchies: Nation and Universities in India and Africa by Amrita Pande, Faisal Garba and Ruchi Chaturvedi

9 June 2016

We are academics raised and educated in various parts of the world, and now living and working in South Africa. The predicaments of its higher education landscape and society mark our work and thought. In this article, we approach that story from our other locations: the rest of the African continent and India.

Art Matters by Suzanne P. Blier, 05 December 2014

9 June 2016

Last month, the Harvard Art Museums reopened, and with them another addition to Harvard’s museum landscape: the Ethelbert Cooper Gallery of African and African American Art, which will host rotating exhibitions of American, European, and other black art traditions. World-renowned architects Italian-born Renzo Piano and Tanzanian-born David Adjaye designed the respective spaces. These events took me back to a difficult 20-plus years fight to bring African art into equal footing at Harvard.

How to take free public higher education from pipe dream to reality by Salim Vally (The Conversation), 08 June 2016

9 June 2016

Universities are any nation’s key public institutions of knowledge development. They drive research, teach students and supervise postgraduates. By producing and disseminating knowledge, universities can fulfil their mandate as institutions of social, economic, cultural and intellectual development for democratic societies and the global environment.

ANC trapped by an ideal? by Malcolm Ray (Sunday Independent), 29 May 2016

1 June 2016

The constitutional compromise of 1994 is one part of the problem. The other is a ruling party navigating its own limits for change, writes Malcolm Ray.

In the late 1970s, a group of mainly white intellectuals were expelled from the ANC for challenging the party line. The group, led by Martin Legassick, argued that the ANC was a working-class organisation with a middle-class leadership and policies.

Senzo Mchunu's resignation 'not surprising' by Mondli Makhanya (News24), 25 May 2016

26 May 2016

At the end of the ANC’s elective conference in Mangaung in 2012, a veteran remarked about how inept the party had become at dealing with leadership contestation.

“Every time we go to an elective conference, we come back with a layer of the ANC having been peeled off,” he said with a sense of forlornness.

It was such an apt statement, which could not have been better demonstrated than by this week’s dramatic events in KwaZulu-Natal, which saw Premier Senzo Mchunu unceremoniously sacked by the provincial ANC leadership.

A quarter of a century after independence Eritreans still yearn for freedom (The Conversation), 23 May 2016

24 May 2016

Eritrea marks 25 years of independence from Ethiopia this month. It is now one of the most underdeveloped countries in the world and is run by a repressive government. The Conversation Africa’s politics and society editor, Thabo Leshilo, asked Valerie Frank* to shed light on the secretive country as it marks this milestone.