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Racial terror from Columbus to Charleston

Date Released : 29/06/2015

Since the 1920s, Charleston has been the name of a dance, a dance with roots in Africa, made white and famous on Broadway.

Why Fanon continues to resonate more than half a century after Algeria’s independence

Date Released : 06/07/2015

Algeria marks its 53rd year of independence from France this month. The bitter struggle for freedom in the late 1950s and early 1960s became a central focus of the global movement against colonialism

Nelson Mandela: The Crossing

Date Released : 09/12/2013

[D]eath is always close by, and what's important is not to know if you can avoid it, but to know that you have done the most possible to realize your ideas. - Frantz Fanon, 1961.

On Not Reducing Racism to Apartheid

Date Released : 23/01/2015

We would be more effective at dealing with the endemic racism in our society if we didn’t relentlessly speak in a manner that

Riot Police in Parliament

Date Released : 18/11/2014

When the ANC raised Jacob Zuma above the rule of law and the scrutiny of parliament they repeated, on live television, an aspect of the logic with which the subaltern classes are routinely governed.

The assassination surge on those fighting corruption

Date Released : 03/10/2014

On Monday evening, not long after the sun went down, a man with a gun stepped out of the dark and into the everyday domestic routine in Thuli Ndlovu’s home in KwaNdengezi, Durban.

GroundUp: Another Abahlali baseMjondolo member assassinated

Date Released : 02/10/2014

Shortly after returning to KwaZulu Natal from the Abahlali baseMjondolo (AbM) Western Cape relaunch, Thuli Ndlovu, a branch chairperson in the shackdwellers’ movement, was gunned down in her shack.

South Africa: After the End of Our Innocence

Date Released : 26/09/2014

From our increasingly riotous streets to our ever more fractious parliament, it is undeniably clear that South Africa is not a country at ease with itself.

Academics divided over change

Date Released : 01/09/2014

Senior varsity staff question whether transformation genuine or just for show HILE some academics in the Eastern Cape believe transformation at universities is nothing but "window dressing", others feel the different institutions are trying, if not always succeeding.

Marikana, Gaza, Ferguson: 'You should think of them always as armed'

Date Released : 19/08/2014

In colonial wars the occupying power invariably reaches a point where it has to acknowledge that its true enemy is not a minority - devil worshipers, communists, fanatics or terrorists - subject to external and evil manipulation, but the people as a whole.

Words exchanged on short-story writing

Date Released : 01/08/2014

Prizewinning short-story writer Nick Mulgrew questions fellow success story Efemia Chela about her work and the future of local writing.

Gaza is everyone's concern

Date Released : 30/07/2014

The attack on Gaza began as a colonial occupation and is not a question of religion, writes RICHARD PITHOUSE.

Gaza is Everyone's Concern

Date Released : 25/07/2014

The ruthless assault on Gaza has sometimes been presented in our media, and on occasion in some solidarity efforts too, as an issue that is solely of concern to Muslim people.

Gaza & the Long History of Liberal Brutality

Date Released : 15/07/2014

As the Israeli state rains its murder on the people of Gaza we are confronted with a stark demonstration

Human life has relative value in more places than Gaza

Date Released : 17/07/2014

AS THE Israeli state rains death on the people of Gaza we are confronted with a stark demonstration of the ways

Human life has relative value in more places than Gaza

Date Released : 17/07/2014

As the Israeli state rains death on the people of Gaza we are confronted with a stark demonstration of the ways in which there is, in so many quarters, official sanction for according radically different values to human lives.

Marikana a turning point for SA

Date Released : 03/07/2014

Marikana a turning point for SA

Re-imagining democracy

Date Released : 27/05/2014

NARENDRA Modi, a politician who combines a form of hypercapitalism (that produces fabulous wealth for some at the cost of ruination for many others) with a narrow and dangerously chauvinistic form of hyper-nationalism, will soon take office as the new prime minister of India.

Renewing Our Democratic Imagination

Date Released : 21/05/2014

Narendra Modi, a politician who combines a form of hyper-capitalism that produces fabulous wealth for some at the cost of ruination for many others with a narrow and dangerously chauvinistic form of hyper-nationalism

Shack dwellers' 'support' for DA a vote against repression

Date Released : 15/05/2014

Abahlali base Mjondolo's offer of a tactical vote to the DA has shocked some, but illustrates democracy at work, writes Richard Pithouse.

In Durban, the struggle continues

Date Released : 15/05/2014

But it is a struggle against the ANC, and the movement is gaining popularity, says Richard Pithouse.

In Durban, the struggle is continuing

Date Released : 14/05/2014

Durban, the city where Jacob Zuma has his firmest urban base, is a hard place to do politics.

Vote No

Date Released : 17/04/2014

In recent days Ronnie Kasrils has been referred to as ‘a rebel, a Judas, a scoundrel’, as ‘Satan’, and as a ‘disruptive, reckless and counter-revolutionary’ figure spitting on ‘the long struggles and the sacrifices of our people’.

The Urban Land Question

Date Released : 03/04/2014

Urban land is acutely contested in contemporary South Africa. There are regular land occupations, some taking the form of quiet encroachment

Huge dent in Zuma's legacy

Date Released : 28/03/2014

The killing of striking workers in Marikana and obscene Nkandla upgrades at expense of the poor have done the most damage to himself and the ANC's standing president Jacob Zuma will not be redeemed by a "Lula moment" or "second transition".

Zuma's legacy a tawdry

Date Released : 27/03/2014

Jacob Zuma will not be redeemed by a "Lola moment" or "second transition". His name will go down in history with Marikana and Nkandla.

Homophobia on the March

Date Released : 13/03/2014

Some people love and desire people of the same sex. This is true everywhere and it has always been true.

SA is on a crimson path to tragedy

Date Released : 27/02/2014

Glitzy opening of Parliament belied reality of mounting tension, writes the public discussion around the pageantry at the annual opening of Parliament often treats the event more like the Oscars than a serious attempt to take some measure of where we are as a country.

Zuma leading us down a crimson path to tragedy

Date Released : 24/02/2014

The glitzy opening of Parliament belied the reality of mounting tensions and popular protests, writes Richard Pithouse.

Celebrating a Murderous State

Date Released : 18/02/2014

The public discussion around the pageantry at the annual opening of Parliament often treats the event more like the Oscars than a serious attempt to take some measure of where we are.

Your daily diet of ‘white supremacy’

Date Released : 12/02/2014

Grahamstown - The road from Port Elizabeth to Grahamstown winds past one luxury game farm after another.

Enduring Racism in Small Town South Africa

Date Released : 05/02/2014

The road from Port Elizabeth to Grahamstown winds past one luxury game farm after another.

The gospel according to Bruce Springsteen

Date Released : 31/01/2014

A Springsteen show is part revivalist church service, part leftist political rally. But above all, it is a sweat-drenched rock 'n roll spectacle.

Forum: ANC op afdraande pad

Date Released : 14/01/2014

Terwyl die opvatting dat pres. Jacob Zuma “?’n klein man in ’n groot huis” is, vinnig versprei en die ANC se morele gesag taan, is die groot vraag wat uit hierdie algemene ontevredenheid kan voortspruit.

History, symbols of ANC slowly turning against it

Date Released : 13/01/2014

For a long time the ANC was able to sacralise its authority by invoking the key events, ideas and personalities of the struggle like Catholics recite the Stations of the Cross.

Another Annus Horribilis for the ANC?

Date Released : 13/01/2014

For a long time the ANC was able to sacralise its authority by invoking the key events, ideas and personalities of the struggle like Catholics recite the Stations of the Cross.

Numsa v SACP

Date Released : 05/12/2013

As Numsa head towards their special congress in Boksburg next week the tensions within Cosatu

The Boss’s songs will resonate here

Date Released : 04/11/2013

Bruce Springsteen has sung about the poor, the hopeless, the lost souls on the road; if he doesn’t emancipate us

Streetsmart Springsteens been there, done that…

Date Released : 04/11/2013

When Bruce Springsteen steps on to the stage in Cape Town on the 28th of January next year it

Bruce Springsteen Returns to Southern Africa

Date Released : 30/10/2013

When Bruce Springsteen steps on to the stage in Cape Town on the 28th of January next year it will be his first performance in South Africa, but it won’t be his first connection to South Africa.

Outcry over oppression in Cato Crest

Date Released : 05/10/2013

To James Nxumalo, the mayor, of eThekwini municipality; Senzo Mchunu, KwaZulu-Natal premier; and President Jacob Zuma.

There Will be Blood

Date Released : 25/09/2013

Nkosinathi Mngomezulu was shot in the stomach on Saturday morning. He was shot at the Marikana land occupation at Stop 1, Cato Crest in Durban during an eviction.

Shack dwellers take the fight to eThekwini – and the ANC takes note

Date Released : 17/09/2013

The shack dwellers’ movement Abahlali base Mjondolo is at the forefront of a new wave of mass political mobilisation. And the ANC in KwaZulu Natal, at least, has taken notice.

Blood in the Streets of Santiago: Forty Years Since the Coup in Chile

Date Released : 09/09/2013

Pablo Neruda, the great Chilean poet, was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971 for “a poetry that with the action of an elemental force brings alive a continent's destiny and dreams".

Land hunger of Warikana' proportions

Date Released : 06/09/2013

As 'rebellious' activists are gunned down, tension is rife in a shack settlement near Durban Activist Nkululeko Gwala was shot 12 times and left to die in the middle of a road on June 25.

‘Zille is inciting party propaganda’

Date Released : 04/09/2013

The professed “task team” behind Cape Town’s faeces attacks has lashed out at Premier Helen Zille, accusing her of breaking the law for “party propaganda purposes”.

Twelve bullets in a man’s body, twelve more in a collective fantasy

Date Released : 30/08/2013

Cities have emerged as a key site of popular struggle in post-apartheid South Africa. But with the ANC responding to independent organisation in an increasingly violent and repressive manner the future of these struggles is deeply uncertain.

Paranoia Stalks the Halls of Power

Date Released : 30/08/2013

(T)he paranoid construction is … an attempt to heal ourselves, to pull ourselves out of the real "illness", the "end of the world", the breakdown of the symbolic universe. ? Slavoj Zizek, Looking Awry: An Introduction to Jacques Lacan through Popular Culture, 1991.

By word and deed ANC is not democratic body

Date Released : 26/07/2013

Last week Inigo Gilmore's documentary, South Africa's Dirty Cops", was screened on British television.

The Antinomies of Democracy in Durban

Date Released : 11/07/2013

In the last days of June, Nkululeko Gwala was assassinated in Cato Crest - a shack settlement in Durban that is in the process of being upgraded with formal housing.

A Hundred Years after the 1913 Land Act

Date Released : 21/06/2013

In 1652, the year that Jan van Riebeeck first stepped on to these shores, Gerrad Winstanley, an English radical, published a pamphlet called The Law of Freedom in a Platform.

A Hundred Years after the 1913 Land Act

Date Released : 18/06/2013

In 1652, the year that Jan van Riebeck first stepped on to these shores, Gerrad Winstanley, an English radical, published a pamphlet called The Law of Freedom in a Platform. Three years earlier he had led a land occupation on St. George's Hill in Surrey

The Strongest of the Strange (For Bradley Manning)

Date Released : 06/06/2013

Just before midnight on the 5th of September 1877 an American soldier ran his bayonet into Thasunke Witko's back in Fort Robinson, Nebraska.

City Press stands by its 'anti-Indian' column

Date Released : 31/05/2013

City Press says it stands by its decision to publish a controversial column described by some as "dripping with anti-Indian hatred".

The Racist Underside of Guptagate

Date Released : 28/05/2013

The City Press made an astonishing error of judgement in deciding to publish Phumlani Mfeka's more or less fascist rant on Sunday. Presenting this extraordinarily crass form of ethnic chauvinism under-girded by a clear threat of violence as if it were a legitimate contribution to the national debate only compounded the newspaper's disgraceful editorial decision. But while Mfeka's anti-Indian diatribe is certainly the most extreme instance of an increasingly dubious set of responses to Guptagate it is not uniquely problematic.

The Sterile Spirit of the Overseer

Date Released : 30/04/2013

The deep roots of May Day lie in the ancient forests of Europe. Long before the idea of one God, one stern God, had made its way across the Mediterranean Spring was marked by planting trees, adorning people and homes with sprigs, blossoms and garlands, the erection of Maypoles, lighting bonfires on hilltops, dancing, drinking and general revelry.

Erasing the question of justice

Date Released : 29/04/2013

Achieving a truer sense of the past requires us to heed all that is obscured by the silence imposed by the powerful, writes IN HER novel Middlemarch , published in 1874, George Elliot wrote: "If we had a keen vision and feeling of all ordinary human life, it would be like hearing the grass grow and the squirrel's heart beat, and we should die of that roar which lies on the other side of silence."

The People Shall Obey

Date Released : 09/04/2013

In his speech at the memorial service for the soldiers who were killed in the Central African Republic Jacob Zuma presented us, and not for the first time, with the idea that we should receive another accumulation of bodies – of black bodies – as a tragedy, as a cruel consequence of the random movement of the wheel of fortune.

Policing the Neo-colony

Date Released : 26/03/2013

All societies are managed with a mixture of force and consent. But in South Africa like, say, India or Mexico, violence, or the threat of violence, is woven so tightly into the banalities and intimacies of day to day life that it is part of the deep structure of things.

From Lusaka to Marikana

Date Released : 20/03/2013

On Friday night Thembinkosi Qumbelo was gunned down in a local bar where he was watching a football game on television.

Pretorius saga shows up the folly of our obssession with celebrities and status

Date Released : 25/02/2013

Not so long ago the middle classes in the world created by British colonialism used to cloak their claim to privilege in the stifling rituals of bourgeois respectability.

Wave of rape weaved into our social fabric

Date Released : 19/02/2013

We need to resist idea this travesty comes from 'outside' AST December Jyoti Singh Pandey, a student on the cusp of her adult life, stepped on to a bus in Delhi. She was with a friend.

Rape festers within, rather than outside, our society

Date Released : 18/02/2013

In December last year Jyoti Singh Pandey, a student on the cusp of her adult life, stepped into a bus in Delhi. She was with a friend.

From Delhi to Bredasdorp

Date Released : 12/02/2013

In December last year Jyoti Singh Pandey, a student on the cusp of her adult life, stepped into a bus in Delhi. She was with a friend.

The Riotous Underbelly of the New Normal

Date Released : 30/01/2013

Here we are, almost twenty years after apartheid and from the prisons, to the shack settlements and the farms, the riotous underbelly of our society is on television most nights.

The Resurrection of Sixto Rodriguez

Date Released : 25/01/2013

Searching for Sugarman, Malik Bendjelloul's film about the reception of Sixto Rodriguez in South Africa, continues to accumulate awards, critical acclaim and commercial success as its momentum gathers in the lead up to the Academy Awards at the end of next month.

Climbing Jacob’s Ladder

Date Released : 14/01/2013

Christmas in Durban is all glorious blue skies, litchis, mangoes, fish curry, white beaches and the shimmering ocean. Of course the ocean, beautiful and inviting as it is, is full of shit because shack dwellers are denied sanitation.

Wasp: Party with a sting in its tail is going mainstream

Date Released : 11/01/2013

One of the key demands of the newly formed Workers and Socialist Party, which will enter mainstream politics will be the nationalisation of the mines.

Inhabiting Orwell's Animal Farm

Date Released : 18/12/2012

As the ANC acquires more of the accoutrements of a classic dictatorship, it is no wonder that South Africans are experiencing a growing sense of rot, writes Richard Pithouse.

Meeting Amidst the Rot

Date Released : 12/12/2012

Many societies before us have travelled the well worn path that winds down the slope, gentle at first but then precipitous, that runs from the bliss of a new dawn and into the stench of a rotting dream.

Dreaming of Our Own Lula Moment

Date Released : 29/11/2012

We need to draw a clear distinction between redemptive fantasies that, while they may be comforting, ultimately function to legitimate injustice and, on the other hand, redemptive visions that can inspire collective action against injustice.

Language of war festers in the ANC

Date Released : 24/11/2012

Books show party disgraces dead, says Richard Pithouse.

Even the Dead

Date Released : 21/11/2012

And then, despite the fear, I set off I put my cheek against death's cheek ? Roberto Bolaño, 'Self Portrait at Twenty Years', The Romantic Dogs, 2006

The new struggle in SA

Date Released : 02/11/2012

When Cosatu and the SACP have to rely on the police and their stun grenades, rubber bullets and, by some accounts, live ammunition to force their way into a stadium against the opposition of striking workers, it is clear that their assumption of a permanent right to leadership is facing a serious challenge from below.

War is upon us

Date Released : 30/10/2012

to the fragrance of lemon blossoms and then to the ultimatums of war - Pablo Neruda, Right Comrade, Its the Hour of the Garden, Isla Negra, Chile, September 1973

Self-organisation, not magic, the drive behind mine action

Date Released : 27/10/2012

The National Union of Mineworkers has informed us that workers organising their own strikes are being covertly “manipulated” and their strikes and protests “orchestrated” by “dark forces” and other “elements” that amount, of course, to another manifestation of the infamous “third force”.

On the third force

Date Released : 15/10/2012

The National Union of Mineworkers has informed us that workers organising their own strikes are being covertly 'manipulated' and their strikes and protests 'orchestrated' by 'dark forces' and other 'elements' that amount, of course, to another manifestation of the infamous 'third force'. 'Backward' and even 'sinister' beliefs in magic consequent to the rural origin of many of the workers are, we've been told by an array of elite actors, including the Communist Party, central to this manipulation. Frans Baleni, horrified at the insurgent power of self-organisation, has not just informed us that his union is trying to “narrow the demands” and persuade workers to “return to work”. He has also called for “the real force behind the upheavals” to be “unearthed” by the state on the grounds that “It is completely untrue [that] the workers are responsible” for the ongoing revolt.

Can Zuma's 'Second Transition' Take Us off the Boil?

Date Released : 29/06/2012

The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear. - Antonio Gramsci, Regina Coeli Prison, Rome, 1930

'Dropped Against the Rocks of Promise'

Date Released : 14/06/2012

More than half of our young people are unemployed. For many of these people there is no formal route through which they can develop their energies and creativity and have them rewarded with a passage into autonomy and adulthood. Time becomes circular rather than linear and as life moves in descending and tightening spirals rather than up and forward, pain and panic set into the bones.

No Zunami on the Streets

Date Released : 29/05/2012

There's no question that the debate, in and around the media, ignited by the ANC's response to Brett Murray's painting has been voluminous and intense in equal measure. But the way in which many of its protagonists have mobilised the idea of a tumultuous wave of threatening popular anger hasn't been borne out on the streets.

From Ramle Prison to the World

Date Released : 14/05/2012

On the first day of March in 1981 Bobby Sands, imprisoned in the Long Kesh for links to the armed resistance to the British occupation of Northern Ireland, began a hunger strike. For seventeen days he was able to keep a diary. The first entry begins with two lines that have become immortal: “I am standing on the threshold of another trembling world. May God have mercy on my soul.”

Imbokodo 2.0?

Date Released : 26/04/2012

The allegations that have been levelled against Richard Mdluli are very serious. If they are true he is a dangerous man, a very dangerous man.

A Clarion Call for the Renewal of the African National Congress?

Date Released : 16/04/2012

As the African National Congress heads to its centenary conference in Mangaung and on to the end of its second decade in power there is still considerable popular fidelity to the ANC as an idea and as an identity. But the ANC does face declining electoral support, escalating popular protest and increasing hostility from the media, intellectuals and much of civil society. The authoritarian currents in the party like to blame all of this on sinister attempts to oppose a democratic government. Its true enough that some forms of critique levelled at the ANC have been deeply inflected by elitism and racism. But its equally true that, if we take the party's claims about its intentions seriously, its failing, and failing badly, in all kinds of ways.

Locusts on the Horizon

Date Released : 03/04/2012

Taking over a mode of rule is not the same thing as transforming it. Barack Obama is not George Bush but that fact makes little difference to the bankers looking for a public subsidy or a wedding party in Pakistan at the moment when a drone rushes out of the sky.

Bruce Springsteen's call to battle

Date Released : 12/03/2012

In 1975 Born to Run, Bruce Springsteen's magnificent third album, crashed on to American radio with a dramatic lyrical intensity riding a rushing wall of rock and soul. Time and Newsweek put him on their covers in the same week and at 26 he found himself, along with Bob Dylan, as the newest avatar in the tradition of popular artists that, beginning with Walt Whitman and rolling on through Woody Guthrie, Lead Belly and John Steinbeck have brought a sympathetic poetic attention to the lives and struggles of ordinary Americans.

On the Lure of India and China

Date Released : 21/02/2012

There's a new buoyancy in certain circles following Jacob Zuma's announcement of an impressive programme of infrastructural development. In a country that has seemed to be drifting rather aimlessly in the icy waters of the global economy, it's no surprise that a more decisive posture from the President, backed up with lots of concrete plans, is animating renewed optimism.

In Search of a Bulwark against the Steady Drift from Democracy

Date Released : 09/02/2012

Jacob Zuma has often been presented as an avuncular man who needs to stop dithering and get on with the business of governing. But the trajectory of the ANC under Zuma is actually very clear. From the fascination with the authoritarian capitalism of China to the return to brutal methods of policing, the nature of the attacks on the media, the judiciary and civil society, the escalation of the powers and role of the intelligence agencies and the increasingly brazen repression of grassroots activists and organisations the drift towards a more authoritarian order is clear. This drift is being accompanied by an increasingly strident critique of the liberal democratic arrangements on which the post-apartheid order was founded.

Frantz Fanon Fifty Year Years Later

Date Released : 30/11/2011

Some days ago we saw a sunset that turned the robe of heaven a bright violet. Today it is a very hard red that the eye encounters. - Frantz Fanon, Towards the African Revolution

Democracy in SA still elusive

Date Released : 29/09/2012

Only the crudest propagandist would dare deny that the ANC is an increasingly predatory and authoritarian excrescence on society rather than a democratic expression of society. It is equally clear that the party confronts what is arguably the highest rate of sustained popular protest anywhere in the world, has overwhelmingly lost the support of the intelligentsia and is increasingly resorting to violence and other forms of repression to contain dissent.

The Enduring Horror of South Africa

Date Released : 12/09/2012

In her recently republished autobiography Emma Mashinini, the grand old lady of the trade union movement, ascribes the deep roots of her steadfast political commitment to a desire to assert that: “I am human. I exist. I am a complete person.”

Facing Reality

Date Released : 27/08/2012

The African National Congress has been captured by a predatory elite that is cynical, corrupt, ruthless and reckless. It is actively reinscribing unbridgeable inequalities into the deep structures of our society. The transit camps and new townships in the cities, the enduring ways in which the former Bantustans remain separate and unequal zones in the countryside, the state of public education and the growth of unemployment and precarious work all mark out this out with undeniable clarity. Workers live in shacks while their bosses gather unimaginable wealth. There is an abundance of land for game farms and golf courses but from Johannesburg to Cape Town the state sends out its men with guns to illegally and violently dispossess people that seize just enough land, often wasteland, to erect a one room shack.