• Brexit: it’s only just begun

    PREDICTABLY an eleventh-hour trade deal was reached to seal the Brexit process triggered by the 2016 referendum in which a majority of self-pitying, self-harming British voters turned their backs on the most constructive development in […]

     
  • Signs of civil war in South Africa?

    IN the early hours of a winter’s morning, when the air is cold and still, you can hear the traffic from the N3, the Johannesburg to Durban highway, from our house; mainly trucks changing gear […]

     
  • A setback for right wing populism?

    AT last there was some good news for those of us who regard ourselves as social and liberal democrats. The decisive defeat of Donald Trump is a signal to right-wing populists the world over that […]

     
  • South Africa: a country of parallel worlds

    SOUTH Africa’s political pundits are forecasting major problems ahead for the African National Congress. Having run the country’s state institutions and its economy into the ground, it is currently mismanaging the Covid-19 epidemic. A string […]

     
  • Landfill inferno and municipal meltdown

    DAWN on Tuesday 21 July on the old Hesketh motor racing circuit south of Pietermaritzburg. Down below in the river valley was an intense fire that looked like the very definition of Hades. Above it […]

     
  • Looking back at a South African university

    IN the 1980s, as a relatively young staff member on the Pietermaritzburg campus of the University of Natal, I had occasional encounters with the university vice-principal, Deneys Schreiner. I’ve recently read for pleasure and review […]

     
  • South African cricket stitch-up finally tears

    SOUTH Africa’s cricket ducks are no longer neatly in a row. Sooner or later there was bound to be a reckoning and the Black Lives Matter campaign has exposed a hidden rawness to the game […]

     
  • The empire strikes back

    ‘HISTORICAL figures like Rhodes do not really matter much any more’. `Monuments [are] rather meaningless’.[1] Ten years after these words of Paul Maylam’s were published, high-profile protest at the University of Cape Town led to […]

     
  • Academic freedom on the edge in South Africa

    EXACTLY how far is the University of Cape Town (UCT) prepared to go in genuflecting to populist thugs in the name of racial nationalism? Further and further, it seems, from the latest assault on academic […]

     
  • A creeping coup in South Africa?

    SOUTH Africa is currently run by big fat people with guns and an attitude to match. Seeing pictures of a casspir entering a Cape Town township, an entire wedding arrested in KwaZulu-Natal, and heavily armed […]