• Sol Plaatje: A Life of Solomon Tshekisho Plaatje, 1876-1932

    Sol Plaatje: A Life of Solomon Tshekisho Plaatje, 1876-1932

    Brian Willan, Sol Plaatje: A Life of Solomon Tshekisho Plaatje, 1876–1932 (Johannesburg: Jacana, 2018) MAGISTERIAL is an apt description of this massive biography – for its depth of research, breadth of context and precision of […]

     
  • Liberty in peril

    Liberty in peril

    THESE are troubled times globally for pluralism and liberal democracy; and especially in South Africa whose rainbow nation gloss has long looked thoroughly tarnished. In recent weeks the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), third largest party […]

     
  • Ministry of Crime: An Underworld Explored

    Ministry of Crime: An Underworld Explored

    Mandy Weiner, Ministry of Crime: An Underworld Explored (Johannesburg: Macmillan, 2018) ALL countries have a criminal underworld. But when it merges with the overworld, society is in deep trouble. Mandy Wiener’s latest book concludes that […]

     
  • Black Consciousness and Progressive Movements under Apartheid

    Black Consciousness and Progressive Movements under Apartheid

    Ian Macqueen, Black Consciousness and Progressive Movements under Apartheid (Pietermaritzburg: UKZN Press, 2018) IN popular perception Black Consciousness (BC) is often portrayed as a breakaway, isolationist tendency; a mirror image of apartheid promoting the interests […]

     
  • A betrayal of epic proportions

    A betrayal of epic proportions

    LAST month we buried our mother. Her ashes lie in a peaceful, but well-frequented, English village churchyard directly under the highest point of the Cotswold hills; close to those of our father. At her funeral […]

     
  • Heist: South Africa’s Cash-in-Transit Epidemic Uncovered

    Heist: South Africa’s Cash-in-Transit Epidemic Uncovered

    Anneliese Burgess, Heist: South Africa’s Cash-in-Transit Epidemic Uncovered (Cape Town: Penguin, 2018) VIOLENT crime is a long-standing South African tradition and at the top of the hierarchy are the gangsters who hijack cash-in-transit vehicles. These […]

     
  • Massaging history in an orgy of hagiography

    Massaging history in an orgy of hagiography

    ‘POLITICALLY and morally accountable for gross violations of human rights’: the author of this statement is South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC); and its subject is Winnie Madikizela Mandela (WMM) who died on 2 […]

     
  • In appreciation of Stephen Poliakoff

    In appreciation of Stephen Poliakoff

    STEPHEN Poliakoff is a prolific and highly successful scriptwriter and film director, a Londoner by birth and career and now in his mid-60s. Like so many creative and accomplished Britons he is of relatively recent […]

     
  • As by Fire: The End of the South African University

    As by Fire: The End of the South African University

    Jonathan Jansen, As by Fire: The End of the South African University (Cape Town: Tafelberg, 2017) UNIVERSITIES are fragile institutions. They require calm and as little change and disruption as possible to enable their primary […]

     
  • Rescued from the brink?

    THE seventh week of the year proved momentous for southern Africa. First, thief-in-chief President Jacob Zuma was forced to resign by his own party, but not before prevarication had allowed a number of his criminal […]