• Pissing in, or pissing out

    THE rather crude image of a political tent with one’s adversaries outside pissing in, or alternatively inside pissing out, is attributed to US President Lyndon Johnson. In South Africa, following the 29 May elections the […]

     
  • D-Day eighty years on

    ‘THE constant rolling of the vessel coupled with my intense occupation in the wheelhouse with the screen of the Gee machine soon brought me to the extremes of sea-sickness. I felt absolutely dreadful and was […]

     
  • Showing the middle finger to democracy in South Africa

    DENIALISM is an understandable human reaction – and a dangerous one. Those with faith in democracy tend to employ it when faced with populist threats from right and left: ‘they don’t really mean it’; ‘our […]

     
  • An Orwellian South Africa?

    LIKE Kafka, George Orwell (Eric Blair) left his eponymous mark on history; plus anticipation of a particular forthcoming year. It’s now forty years since 1984, which turned out not to embody the dystopic future Blair […]

     
  • 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 […]

     
  • 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 […]

     
  • 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. […]

     
  • The betrayal of academic custodianship and the rise of the disciplinary university

    Narcissistic, thin-skinned, unprofessional, threatening, intimidating and abusive on social media; with an inclination to create and exploit racial divisions. These are some of the descriptors used by an independent panel chaired by Lex Mpati tasked […]

     
  • Confronting the geography of apartheid

    IT was the most banal of events: fifty years ago, in mid-October 1973, two cricket teams met in the local league in Alexandra Park, Pietermaritzburg. But one of them, Aurora, comprised players from different ethnic […]