• 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 […]

  • South Africa: moving towards the illiberal

    THE TRADITIONAL categorisation of political ideology and practice occupying a spectrum stretching from left to right is now obsolete. It was always problematic if considered at the point where far right collided with far left […]

  • UDF unites, apartheid divides: the 40th anniversary of a non-racial front

    CONSULT a history book and it will probably tell you that the United Democratic Front (UDF), launched forty years ago on 20 August 1983, was the internal wing of the ANC. It is true that […]

  • Looking in a Russian mirror

    The mutinous Yevgeny Prigozhin seems to have survived his failed insurrection relatively well. While his Wagner Group fighters in Ukraine have been absorbed into the Russian army, their presence in Africa continues unaltered and largely […]