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Recent Posts

  • South Africa’s upcoming elections

    MUCH is being made of the fact that a large number of the world’s nations will be holding general elections this year. Some will of course be a farce: Vladimir Putin will be reaffirmed as […]

     
  • Moscow on the veld

    WE may never know exactly how Alexei Navalny died. One possibility put forward by someone familiar with such matters is that he was forced to stay out in sub-zero temperatures and then punched in the […]

     
  • Capture in the Court: In Defence of Judges and the Constitution

    Dan Mafora, Capture in the Court: In Defence of Judges and the Constitution (Cape Town: Tafelberg, 2023) THIRTY years down the line from its first democratic elections, the political landscape of South Africa may best […]

     
  • Death and hypocrisy

    UNBRIDLED adulation: that seems to be the default reaction at the passing of any prominent figure closely associated with the ANC. We’ve seen it again recently with the death of Mbongeni Ngema in a head-on […]

     
  • 20 Battles: Searching for a South African Way of War, 1913-2013

    Evert Kleynhans and David Brock Katz, 20 Battles: Searching for a South African Way of War, 1913‒2013 (Johannesburg: Delta Books, 2023) THE PURPOSE of this book, written by military scientists and historians, is to identify […]

     
  • The Thabo Bester Story: The Facebook Rapist, the Celebrity Doctor and the Escape from Cell 35

    Marecia Damons and Daniel Steyn, The Thabo Bester Story: The Facebook Rapist, the Celebrity Doctor and the Escape from Cell 35 (Cape Town: Tafelberg, 2023) IT is tempting to regard this story as truth stranger […]

     
  • The universal suppression of women’s rights: Womandla!

    IT’S been a grim year. Extremism and fundamentalism have taken a tighter grip on the planet; the conflict in Palestine being yet another instance in which the forces of reason and moderation have been sidelined. […]

     
  • Back to the Front: A Memoir

    Leon Levy, Back to the Front: A Memoir (Johannesburg: Jacana, 2023) BOOKENDING a life seems an appropriate approach to memoir, although in this case Leon Levy does it unevenly. Born in 1929, he left South […]

     
  • Blood has a Voice: Stories from the Autopsy Table

    Hestelle van Staden, Blood has a Voice: Stories from the Autopsy Table (Cape Town: Tafelberg, 2023) SHE describes herself as a normal middle-aged, suburban woman; but her profession would be regarded by many as highly […]

     
  • Statues and Storms: Leading through Change

    Max Price, Statues and Storms: Leading Through Change (Cape Town: Tafelberg, 2023) THERE’S a song in Gilbert and Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance that has the refrain ‘A policeman’s lot is not a happy one …’ […]