• The present as a mirror of the past

    BOOKS on South Africa’s recent history continue to roll off keyboards and printing presses, including a recent spate of memoirs and analyses of Mkhonto we Sizwe (MK), the armed wing of the African National Congress […]

     
  • Academic Freedom in a Democratic South Africa: Essays and Interviews on Higher Education and the Humanities

    Academic Freedom in a Democratic South Africa: Essays and Interviews on Higher Education and the Humanities

    John HIGGINS, Academic Freedom in a Democratic South Africa: Essays and Interviews on Higher Education and the Humanities (Johannesburg: Wits University Press, 2013) THIS is an unusual book: title and sub-title could be reversed, yet […]

     
  • Marginalised thinkers in South Africa's liberation struggle: reflections at St Alphege's

    Marginalised thinkers in South Africa’s liberation struggle: reflections at St Alphege’s

    THIS series of sermon-length reflections was given at St Alphege’s Church in Pietermaritzburg during 2016 encouraged by the Rector, Janet Trisk, to whom the writer extends his gratitude and thanks. Its focus was on the […]

     
  • Liberal democracy under siege

    POST-TRUTH (or post-factual) politics is term of the year according to Oxford Dictionaries. Sceptics might question when politics was ever about truth while history shows that the ascent of every totalitarian ideology, right or left, […]

     
  • Student, Comrade, Prisoner, Spy: A Memoir

    Student, Comrade, Prisoner, Spy: A Memoir

    Bridget HILTON-BARBER, Student, Comrade, Prisoner, Spy: A Memoir (Cape Town: Zebra Press, 2016) WE are reminded by Timothy Garton Ash, journalist and academic expert on central Europe, that ‘the key to betrayal is trust’. And […]

     
  • ‘History will absolve me’: death of a revolutionary

    ‘History will absolve me’: death of a revolutionary

    FIDEL Castro was the archetypal revolutionary − beard, military fatigues and cigar were glamorous left-wing symbols of the 1960s. At the age of thirteen he organised a strike amongst his father’s workers and during the […]

     
  • Empty words and dangerous rhetoric

    TRANSFORMATION has been without question one of South Africa’s most overworked words in the media and public discourse since national liberation. Like every word it has a precise dictionary definition, yet it is a frequent […]

     
  • Turning their backs on history: a right wing coup in Britain?

    IT is hard from the events of the last five months to avoid the conclusion that without a major change of direction, the United Kingdom is headed for political disintegration and economic decline. Although the […]

     
  • God, Spies and Lies

    God, Spies and Lies

    John MATISSON, God, Spies and Lies: Finding South Africa’s Future Through its Past (Cape Town: Ideas for Africa in association with Missing Ink, 2015) THE essence of John Matisonn’s book lies in its sub-title. He […]

     
  • Fordsburg Fighter

    Fordsburg Fighter

    Amin CAJEE as told to Terry Bell, Fordsburg Fighter: The Journey of an MK Volunteer (Face2Face, 2016).   ANC Youth League president Collen Maine recently called on Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) veterans to defend the […]